The oldest permanent orchestra in the Nordic countries, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra has 102 musicians and annually performs to a total audience of over 110,000.
During its 140-year history, the orchestra has premiered most of the symphonic works by Jean Sibelius with the composer himself conducting, and continues its commitment to contemporary music by commissioning works by both Finnish and foreign composers.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra has had 13 Chief Conductors. Under Susanna Mälkki, who took over in 2016 and will stand down after the 2022–2023 season, the orchestra has developed into an increasingly impressive actor on the international scene.
After Mälkki, the artistic leadership will be taken over by Jukka-Pekka Saraste as the chief conductor, Pekka Kuusisto as the principal guest conductor, and an annual composer-in-residence (with Anna Clyne as the first, 2023–2024).
Photo: Maarit Kytöharju