John Storgårds is one of the most versatile and respected Finnish musicians of his generation. Since making his conducting debut in 1996, Storgårds’ achievements already position him as an internationally acclaimed conductor. He is one of today’s leading performers and champions of new and rarely heard works, alongside more familiar repertoire, and his creative flair for programming is an impressive hallmark for him worldwide.
In Finland Storgårds has been Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and is currently Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland since 1996. He began his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in August 2008 and will continue until the 2013/2014 season. Storgårds is the next Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra starting January 2012. He has held the Artistic Directorships of many summer festivals, most recently of the Korsholm Music Festival between 2004-2006, and Avanti’s! Summer Sounds Festival.
Storgårds made an impressive BBC Proms debut in 2005 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; an orchestra with whom he now works with every season. He has also worked with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestra National de Belgique, Gothenberg Symphony, the Finnish, Swedish and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestras, Danish National Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, MDR Leipzig Orchestra and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Further afield, Storgårds has conducted the Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand Symphonies, and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, USA. He made his Japan debut last season with Kioi Sinfonietta. Soloists with whom he regularly collaborates include Christian Tetzlaff, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Nikolai Znaijder, Grigory Sokolov, Håkan Hardenberger, Karita Mattila, Sabine Meyer and Matti Salminen.
Marking the Sibelius anniversary year 2007, Storgårds was touring in London, Birmingham, Utrecht and Dortmund with Tampere Philharmonic. In spring 2008 he undertook a tour of Germany with Helsinki Philharmonic, including a performance at Berlin’s Philharmonie, and appeared as conductor and violin soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra on an extensive tour of Australia.
Storgårds has made a number of international recordings for Ondine, Sony and BIS Records. His recording of Vasks’ Violin Concerto Distant Light and Second Symphony won the Cannes Classical Disc of the Year Award in 2004. He has recorded other major contemporary composers including Kaija Saariaho’s Graal theatre, works of John Corigliano, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Uuno Klami, Jean Sibelius and Jukka Tiensuu with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and a recording of the seldom heard Busoni Violin Concerto with soloist Frank Peter Zimmermann and the orchestra of RAI Turin.
John Storgårds firstly studied violin with Esther Raitio and Jouko Ignatius at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and then with Chaim Taub in Israel. Having played professionally under the baton of many world-class conductors, he was inspired to take up conducting and returned to the Sibelius Academy from 1993-1997 to study with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas. John Storgårds received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002.