Candid Susanna Mälkki

Susanna Malkki with Ensemble Intercontemporaine. Photo by Joonasl/WikiCommons

“As a young cellist, I think I’ve always had a certain anti-careerist resistance… When I see that there are things that will please the professor, I make sure I don’t do those things. And I think I’ve always been conscious of all of my ‘wrong’ choices. And I’ve become aware that the professors really like teaching pretty young women, and so I wanted to be ugly. To see if they have anything [genuine] to say. I knew what I wanted and I did not want to be a mascot. So perhaps being an instrumentalist wasn’t the right path for me… but it did prepare me for the conducting path. When I finally took conducting classes, and somebody asked me, So how would you like this done, I thought, Finally! Yes, well, I’ll absolutely tell you what I want to do.”

Susanna Mälkki, in Les grands entretiens @ France Musique, led by Judith Chaine. Five 25-min episodes well worth your time.

4 thoughts on “Candid Susanna Mälkki

  1. Oh, she is such a great conductor. I went for autographs after a performance and said quietly to her “I am wistful that you aren’t the next music director of San Francisco Symphony,” which she appreciated. (I couldn’t honestly say I was _sorry_ about Salonen.)

      1. Oooooo!

        She is much, much better than Philippe Jordan. I heard him three times on two trips to Paris and….I do not understand how he has gotten two very important jobs. He was good in the new opera Berenice, which was fantastically sung and directed. The Tristan and Troyens were….lacking in scope and structure. When Donald Runnicles and Andrew Davis conducted Troyens, I was convinced I was hearing the greatest opera every written. With Jordan….nope. He just did not give the work its great stature. Similarly with the Tristan. I would not want to hear him again in Wagner.

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