Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki has collected the coveted Nordic Council Music Prize for 2017. In addition to her trophy she picked up a cheque for DKK 350,000 (€47,000).
In its citation, the council wrote that: “Susanna Mälkki is a versatile and dedicated maestro of both the classical and contemporary repertoire. Having forged her own path through the world of classical music, she now ranks among the top international conductors.”
Mälkki is currently chief conductor for Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and in her first season as principal guest conductor at Los Angeles Philharmonic. Highlights for 2017 so far were her debut with London Symphony Orchestra in March and her performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with San Francisco Symphony in June.
Continued the citation: “Mälkki endows conducting with fresh energy and new perspectives, concentrating on the one thing that really matters – the music. All in all, Susanna is an inspiring and innovative role model and extremely important to the future of classical and contemporary music.”
Past winners of the prize include composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir (2012), clarinettist Kari Kriikku (2009) and violinist Pekka Kuusisto (2013).
Upcoming concerts for Mälkki are A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Los Angeles Philharmonic (3-5 November) and Danton’s Death with Vienna State Opera in March and April.