Lahti Symphony Orchestra

Anja Bihlmaier to become Principal Guest Conductor of Lahti Symphony Orchestra

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra and its principal conductor Dima Slobodeniouk will gain a new artistic partner when the conductor Anja Bihlmaier takes up the position of the orchestra’s principal guest conductor in the autumn of 2020. The contract, which runs until the end of the spring 2023 season, includes three to four concerts each year and an option for a two-year extension.

Anja Bihlmaier, a German conductor with a strong international career, first appeared with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in December 2018. Recently the Residentie Orchestra in the Hague, Holland, designated Bihlmaier as its principal conductor starting in the autumn of 2021. In the near future she will perform with orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Bihlmaier is also a keen opera conductor and will soon appear in this capacity in Malmö, Vienna and elsewhere. She will next conduct the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in March 2020.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra previously had a principal guest conductor alongside its principal conductor in the years 1995–98. At that time – during Osmo Vänskä’s time as principal conductor, the principal guest conductor was Joseph Swensen, and Juha Kangas was a regular guest conductor.

Bihlmaier, the orchestra and Slobodeniouk welcome the new contract

Conductor Anja Bihlmaier says she was deeply honoured to be invited to join the musicians and indeed the whole team of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra as principal guest conductor: ‘Their passion for bringing music to a wider public and high level of musicianship will enable us to unlock the secrets of the score and truly bring music to life. I am very much looking forward to sharing these special moments and to shaping an exciting journey together.’

General manager Teemu Kirjonen shares the orchestra’s joy at the coming collaboration: ‘Anja Bihlmaier’s first appearance with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in December 2018 aroused enormous enthusiasm both among our players and from the audience. She seems to get a similar reaction wherever she goes. And we are very happy that she found it rewarding to make music with our orchestra; the new contract means that she will conduct regularly in Lahti for some years to come.’

Principal conductor Dima Slobodeniouk is also enthusiastic: ‘Anja Bihlmaier is a conductor whose international career is very much looking up, and it is wonderful that she will enrich the musical life of Lahti with us. I believe that her great expertise and inspiring attitude will continue to take the orchestra’s musical work forwards.’

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