Hannu Lintu

With a “scrupulous ear for instrumental color and blend” (Washington Post) and bringing “a distinctive dynamism to the podium” (Baltimore Sun), the 2018/19 season marks Hannu Lintu’s sixth year as Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Highlights include all ten Mahler symphonies – Lintu opens the cycle at the Helsinki Festival in August 2018 with No.8 “Symphony of a Thousand” – Finnish premieres such as the vocal symphony version of Zimmermann’s opera Die Soldaten and Thomas Larcher’s Symphony No.2, and concerto performances by acclaimed soloists including Yuja Wang, Evgeny Kissin and Stephen Hough. In March 2018 the Orchestra toured Spain and Germany with cellist Sol Gabetta to great acclaim – venues included Madrid’s Auditorio Nacional de Música, the Berlin Philharmonie and Kölner Philharmonie – and on Independence Day (6 December 2017) a special concert featuring world premieres by esteemed national composers Magnus Lindberg and Lotta Wennäkoski was held to celebrate 100 years of Finnish autonomy as well as the Orchestra’s 90th anniversary.


Guest highlights of the 2018/19 season include returns to the Baltimore, St Louis and Cincinnati symphony orchestras, the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and NDR Elbphilharmonie (following highly successful debuts in 2017); Lintu also makes his debut with the Boston Symphony and Hungarian National Philharmonic orchestras. Other recent engagements include the Tokyo Metropolitan, Washington’s National, Dallas and Detroit symphony orchestras, NAC Orchestra, Ottawa, and his debut with the Orchestre de Paris.


A regular in the pit, Lintu works frequently with the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, returning in March 2019 to conduct Berg’s Wozzeck. In 2017 he received rave reviews for Kullervo, a special collaborative project with director/choreographer Tero Saarinen honouring 100 years of Finnish independence and on which Opera Magazine commented: “No other conductor – including several distinguished Sibelians – I have heard in this music has been quite so willing to show what makes [Kullervo] so original”. Other previous Finnish National Opera productions include Parsifal, Carmen, Sallinen’s King Lear and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. In July 2017, as part of Finland’s centenary celebrations, Lintu conducted Sallinen’s Kullervo at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, returning in 2018 for four performances of Verdi’s Otello.


Hannu Lintu has made several recordings for Ondine, BIS, Naxos, Avie and Hyperion; recent releases include Bartók’s Violin Concertos (with Christian Tetzlaff – Gramophone magazine’s “Recording of the Month” in May 2018), Fagerlund’s Stonework (with Ismo Eskelinen) and the final instalment of Prokofiev’s complete Piano Concertos (Nos.2 and 5, with Olli Mustonen), all of which feature Lintu’s principal recording partner, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Lintu has received several accolades for his recordings, including a 2018 ICMA Award for works by Sibelius featuring Anne Sofie von Otter, a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Opera CD (Rautavaara’s Kaivos), and Gramophone Award nominations for his recordings of Enescu’s Symphony No.2 with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and the Violin Concertos of Sibelius and Thomas Adès with Augustin Hadelich and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.


Hannu Lintu studied cello and piano at the Sibelius Academy, where he later studied conducting with Jorma Panula. He participated in masterclasses with Myung-Whun Chung at the L'Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and took first prize at the Nordic Conducting Competition in Bergen in 1994.




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