Congratulations to Susanna Mälkki!

Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki was just named the chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic—the first woman to hold the position; the ensemble has been performing for 132 years. Her three-year contract will begin in 2016. Until then she will continue to make international debuts, including with the New York Philharmonic in May of 2015 (conducting Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Piano Concerto No 1).    Here is a great clip of Mälkki discussing Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto which Mälkki conducted in Boston in 2011:  

Happy Birthday, Amy Beach!!

Today, Sept. 5, let’s celebrate Amy Beach’s birthday! She was a great composer of many firsts: the first American women to have a Symphony performed by a major orchestra (her “Gaelic” in 1896; her piano concerto of 1900 was another “first”), the first U.S.-born composer to have monumental success without the benefit of European training, and one of the first Americans whose music was was well-received in Europe. With more than 300 published works in a wide range of genres, hers was a great achievement by any standard. Although her music faded from the repertoire following her death in 1944, it…