Skip to main content

Hannu Lintu to leave the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2021

kapellimestari Hannu Lintu johtaa Radion sinfoniaorkesteria
kapellimestari Hannu Lintu johtaa Radion sinfoniaorkesteria Picture by: Copyright Heikki Tuuli 2018 Hannu Lintu

Mr Hannu Lintu is to resign from his post as Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra at the end of his present term in spring 2021. Before embarking on this term in autumn 2013, he had been the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor for one year.

“The years with the FRSO have been musically rewarding,” says Maestro Lintu. “We have got to know one another extremely well, and this can be heard at every concert. We still have a lot on in the next two seasons: recordings, tours, and above all work to achieve more and more musical milestones. But then it will be time to move on. Renewal is one of the basic conditions for any artist and arts organisation.”

The FRSO-Lintu partnership has been very successful. The audience figures at the Helsinki Music Centre concerts have risen steadily throughout Lintu’s term, and almost all the concerts in the past few years have been sold out. Lintu has also taken the orchestra on major tours to such cities as Berlin, Vienna, Cologne, Moscow and Tokyo, plus four tours of Finland.

“Hannu Lintu’s artistic work is marked by a tremendous feel for drama and boldness,” says FRSO General Manager Tuula Sarotie. “The sold-out halls, the numerous international record awards and the orchestra’s active presence on the Yle channels are witness to the acclaim won by the FRSO with Lintu as its figurehead. We are glad we still have two more seasons with him and will be returning later to the question of his successor.”

Major artistic achievements have included the annual series of choral-orchestral works, taking in such masterpieces as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s The Creation and Klami’s Psalmus. Lintu’s idea of a regular FRSO festival was an immediate success and this season’s series of Mahler symphonies has been performed to packed halls.

With Lintu’s assistance, the orchestra has also had closer collaboration with leading Finnish artists, such as soprano Karita Mattila and composers Magnus Lindberg, Sebastian Fagerlund and Kaija Saariaho.

In his prestigious international award-winning discs, Lintu has sought to create a survey of 20th-century cult composers from Bartók to Messiaen, Lutosławski, Ligeti and Zimmermann. In honour of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, Lintu and the FRSO recorded a 7-part documentary series for the Yle Teema channel of the Sibelius symphonies. The series was later released in DVD format.

The concert programme curated by Hannu Lintu for the 2019/2020 season will be announced on April 26. In addition to the FRSO, Maestro Lintu’s engagements in the forthcoming season include appearances with the Symphony Orchestras of Detroit, Chicago, Boston and Montreal, the Orchestre de Paris and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. Also in his diary are the top Asian orchestras in Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo.