Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, John Storgårds has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely recognized for his creative flair for programming. He additionally holds the title of Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland and served as the Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic from 2008–2015.
Mr. Storgårds appears with such orchestras as WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as all of the major Scandinavian orchestras and the Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand symphonies. Soloists with whom he collaborates include Yefim Bronfman, Colin Currie, Sol Gabetta, Hĺkan Hardenberger, Karita Mattila, Matti Salminen Gil Shaham, Baiba Skride, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Frank Peter Zimmermann.
John Storgårds made his North American debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra during the 2005/06 season. Since then, he has appeared with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, and with the National, Toronto, St. Louis, Detroit, Atlanta, Montreal, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Houston symphonies. During the 15/16 season, he makes his debuts with the New York Philharmonic and the Baltimore and Vancouver symphonies; begins his tenure as the Principal Guest Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra; and returns to the St. Louis, Toronto and Houston symphonies.
Highlights of Mr. Storgårds’ 15/16 season in Europe include a return to the Proms with the BBC Philharmonic, a European tour as well as a tour to Mexico with the Helsinki Philharmonic to mark the 150th birthday of Jean Sibelius, his Japanese debut with the NHK Symphony, and recordings with the Gothenburg Symphony and Oslo Philharmonic.
Equally at home in the opera house, John Storgårds conducted the Finnish premieres of both Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Finnish National Opera and Schumann’s only opera, Genoveva. He has also conducted most of the Mozart operas as well as the major operas of Strauss and Verdi.
Mr. Storgårds’ recording of the complete Nielsen symphonies with the BBC Philharmonic was released to much acclaim in May 2015 on the Chandos label. Also with the BBC Philharmonic, his much anticipated recording of the complete Sibelius symphonies, which includes the Three Late Fragments, thought to be sketches for an eighth symphony, was released in the spring 2014 on the same label. Additional notable releases include discs of works by Korngold and Rautavaara, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination and a Gramophone Award in 2012; a disc of Holmboe symphonies with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, which was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award; and a recording of Pēteris Vasks’ Second Symphony and Violin Concerto, featuring him as the soloist, which won the Classical Disc of the Year Award.
John Storgårds’ repertoire includes all of the Sibelius, Nielsen, Bruckner, Brahms, Beethoven and Schumann symphonies, and he conducted a historical cycle of all of Mozart’s symphonies with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. He gave the Finnish premieres of Schumann’s early Zwickau symphony as well as the world premieres of Sibelius’ Suite op. 117 for Violin and Strings and the Late Fragments. As a violinist, he perfomed the Finnish premiere of Schumann’s own violin version of the cello concerto and his Violin Sonata No 3. Mr. Storgårds regularly conducts world premieres of works by contemporary composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Brett Dean, Per Nørgård and Pēteris Vasks, and several of these composers have dedicated their works to him.
Mr. Storgårds studied violin with Chaim Taub, was concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen and subsequently studied conducting with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas at the famed Sibelius Academy. He received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002 and the Pro Finlandia Prize 2012.