Santtu-Matias Rouvali appointed as Principal Conductor of The Philharmonia Orchestra

Santtu-Matias Rouvali has been appointed as the next Principal Conductor of The Philharmonia Orchestra in London. At 33-years of age, Rouvali is one of the youngest ever artists to be appointed Principal Conductor of a London orchestra. Rouvali is the sixth person to hold the title in the orchestra's 75-year history.

Santtu-Matias Rouvali, who has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia since 2017, takes up his Principal Conductorship in 2021/22 season. His five-year contract will see him work with the Philharmonia for 10 weeks a year, including leading the Orchestra’s flagship series as Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. 

Rouvali will also conduct the Philharmonia across its UK residencies programme and for further weeks on international tours, also developing recording projects, and working with the Orchestra on its digital, outreach and audience development programmes.

On his new post, Rouvali succeeds Esa-Pekka Salonen, after 13 years of service. Salonen’s legacy with the Philharmonia will be cemented by the Conductor Emeritus title, which he will take up in 2021. The 2020/21 Season will celebrate Salonen’s achievements with the Philharmonia.

Santtu-Matias Rouvali comments on his appointment: “I am honoured to be the new Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia. This is the start of a great adventure: London is such an exciting place for orchestras, and the Philharmonia is at the heart of classical music life in this city. The players of the Philharmonia can do anything: they are enormously talented and show an incredible hunger to create great performances. There is huge possibility with this orchestra, and we will do great things together.”

Rouvali is also Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, which he will continue alongside his new post with the Philharmonia, renewing his tenure in Sweden for a further four years from 2021/22.