John Storgårds (b. 1963) studied orchestral conducting, composition and the violin at the Sibelius Academy in his native Finland, and abroad. A regular conductor of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra 1997–2000, the Tapiola Sinfonietta 2001–2003 and the Tampere Philharmonic 2000–2002 and 2006–2009, he has been guest conducting the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra since 1994. Following a term as Principal Guest Conductor of the HPO 2003–2008, he began as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor in autumn 2008. He has been Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland since 1996 and in January 2012 began as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
John Storgårds is nowadays a regular guest with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Other engagements during the 2013/2014 season include appearances with symphony orchestras in Washington, Vancouver, Baltimore, Toronto, Birmingham, Warsaw and Cleveland.
John Storgårds still also makes regular appearances as a violinist and chamber musician. In January 2013 he was the soloist in the premiere of the Violin Concerto by Kimmo Hakola with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln under Jukka-Pekka Saraste. In summer 2013 he performed chamber repertoire with leading world musicians at the Rolandseck Festival and other venues. His recordings for Ondine of the Violin Concertos by Schumann, Melartin, Saariaho, Nordgren and Vasks have won widespread international acclaim.
The numerous distinctions bestowed on John Storgårds further speak of his versatility as a performer and conductor: the Venla Prize for the best TV music programme in 1999, the State Prize for Music in 2002, the Cannes Classical Disc of the Year Award in 2004, the Culture Prize of the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland in 2001 and the Pro Finlandia medal in 2012, to mention just a few.
Among his recent recordings with the Helsinki Philharmonic have been a disc of music by Rautavaara (Ondine 2012) that won the 2012 Gramophone award for best contemporary recording, the world premiere release of incidental music to Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing (Ondine 2012) and a Madetoja CD that has won glowing reviews (Ondine 2013).