After studying at the Sibelius Academy and Juilliard, he held positions at the Finnish National Opera, the Royal Opera in Stockholm, the German Opera in Berlin, Vienna State Opera, and Copenhagen’s Royal Opera. Mr. Segerstam was guest conductor at the Metropolitan, Covent Garden, and La Scala. His impressive career was interwoven with positions as chief conductor at the Radio Symphony Orchestras in Austria, Finland, and Denmark as well as Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. Until 2007 he held the position of chief conductor at the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
Known for his free-pulsative style, Leif Segerstam’s exceptionally large-scale composing production consists of over 310 symphonies and many other composition works. Until 2013 Leif Segerstam was Acting Professor of Conducting at the Sibelius Academy. His impressive career has been acknowledged with several awards. In 2014 the President of Finland granted Segerstam the title of Professor. In autumn 2015, Malmö Opera appointed Segerstam as their Honorary Conductor.
The Honorary Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra Paavo Berglund (1929-2012) conducted the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (of that time the Turku City Orchestra) for the first time on a day concert on 20th of September, 1953. Berglund conducted the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra a total of eight times. An interesting detail is that between 1953 and 2002 he conducted Sibelius’s fourth symphony in 1961 and 1981. Most recently, Paavo Berglund conducted our orchestra at the Turku Concert Hall’s 50th Anniversary Concert in December 2002, when the program included the overture of Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Berglund worked as Chief conductor for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (he conducted two concerts in Turku in September 1976), the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Danish Orchestra, to which he was appointed from September 1993. Paavo Berglund established his reputation by conducting several top orchestras including the Philharmonics in Berlin, Israel and St. Petersburg, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Berglund made his USA debut in 1978, conducting the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. After that, he conducted among others the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra.
The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra cherishes the tradition of orchestral music by performing classical works and also performing new music several times a year. The orchestra is making very close co-operation with Composer-in-Residence Mikko Heiniö.
Mikko Heiniö studied composition at the Sibelius-Academy in guidance of Joonas Kokkonen (diploma 1977) and in Berlin with Witold Szalone. He also studied musicology at the University of Helsinki (Ph.D. 1984). He has worked as Professor of Musicology at the University of Turku 1985-2005, as Chairman of the Finnish Composers 1992-2010 and as Vice-Chairman of Teosto 1999-2014. Heiniö’s production includes i. a. operas Riddaren och draken (Turku Cathedral 2000), Käärmeen hetki (the Finnish National Opera 2006) and Eerik XIV, which was one of the Turku Capital of Culture 2011 main events, three symphonys, nine piano concertos and other orchestra and chamber music works. He has received several awards, i. a. Tieto-Finlandia 1997 and Finland-award 2006. He has been elected to a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2004.