Susanna Mälkki Could be First Woman Music Director of the New York Philharmonic

In an interview with The Associated Press, Susanna Mälkki, after conducting the New York Philharmonic in a challenging program the day before the January 6 performance, said the following:

“Of course, it’s always an honor to be mentioned in this kind of context. It’s really, really fun to be with the orchestra. But the `l’actualité,′ as they say in French: This something that the orchestra will take their time. They will try out a lot of people.”

Mälkki brought a “focused energy” to the podium, said Leelanee Sterrett, the acting associate principal horn. Sterrett called it “one of those performances where in the concert everything was kind of taken up a notch, dialed up a notch.”

A woman has never been music director of what was long known as the Big Five: the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra.

Mälkki is among five woman conductors at the Met this season. She is one of 21 to lead the Philharmonic, including four so far this season.

Deborah Borda, who returned to the New York Philharmonic as CEO in 2017 after 17 seasons as CEO in Los Angeles, hired Mälkki as principal guest conductor.