Anna-Maria Helsing has gained an outstanding reputation with leading Scandinavian orchestras and opera houses. From 2010 to 2013 Anna-Maria Helsing was Chief Conductor of the Oulu Symphony – the first-ever female conductor at the head of a Finnish symphony orchestra. Anna-Maria Helsing has been appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra from April 2020 to September 2022. Since 2020 she is the new Artistic Director of the high-profile chamber music festival RUSK in Jakobstad, Finland.
Within a short time the Swedish-Finnish conductor has conducted all the major Finnish and Swedish orchestras including the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Malmö Symphony, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra as well as the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony, Iceland Symphony, North Iceland Symphony and Odense Symphony among others.
Furthermore she was at the rostrum of Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Danish Opera, Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra, Malmö Opera Orchestra, Norrlands Operan Orchestra, Estonian National Orchestra and conducted the orchestras in Braunschweig, Bochum, Hagen and Jena.
She also led performances at the Gothenburg Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Finnish National Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival,Tampere Opera and Folkoperan Stockholm.
Upcoming highlights are her return visits to the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Tampere Philharmonic, Oulu Sinfonia, Norrköping Symphony, Iceland Symphony, North Iceland Symphony, Pitea Chamber Opera, Ostrobothnian Chamber as well as her debuts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and London Sinfonietta.
After her studies in the class of Leif Segerstam, the Finnish conductor was chosen to take part in the International Conductor’s Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation under the guidance of Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. In 1999 she won the First Prize in the International Competition for 20th Century Music for Young Artists in Warsaw.
Anna-Maria Helsing received her violin diplomas from the Conservatory of Jakobstad/Pietarsaari. She has attended masterclasses with Jorma Panula, Vladimir Jurowski and John Carewe.
Anna-Maria Helsing feels a special affinity with the sound and style of modernism and contemporary music.
Season 2020/21Read more
On 10 February Anna-Maria Helsing was at the rostrum of the Finnish Radio Symphony performing at Musica Nova Festival Helsinki. The programme featured
music by Iannis Xenakis, Maija Hynninen, Lisa Streich and Roope Mäenpää: https://musicanova.fi/en/event/finnish-radio-symphony-orchestra-musica-nova-helsinki/ (available until 9 March)Read more
Anna-Maria Helsing gave her debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on 3 December conducting music by Dvorak, Richard Thompson and Florence Price. The
concert will be streamed on 29 January, 19:30 (GMT). https://www.rsno.org.uk/digital-season
Anna-Maria Helsing gave her debut with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra on 21 January, 19:30 (CET). The streaming concert will feature Stravinsky Suites No. 1 & 2,
Pulcinella and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 with Christian Ihle Hadland as soloist: https://vimeo.com/503204338Read more
Anna-Maria Helsing is at the rostrum of Philharmonia Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall on 12 November, 19:30 to conduct a streamed concert with music by Jessie Montgomery and Felix Mendelssohn.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the award-winning Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra as Artistic Director of the Rusk Festival in Jakobstad on 21 November, 18:00
(CET) available as livestream: https://ruskfestival.fi/en
The programme features Wojciech Kilar: Orawa, Giya Kancheli: Silent Prayer, Edward Elgar: Introduction & Allegro op. 47 among others.
On 11 December she conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra with music by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Gerald Finzi, John McCabe and Jocelyn Pook. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000q3ck (audio available afterwards)
Anna-Maria Helsing conducted her first concert as Principal Guest Conductor of BBC Concert Orchestra in London Royal Festival Hall on 30 October (19:30 GMT) as live radio
broadcast. The programme features music by Poulenc, Debussy, Nadia Boulanger, Sebastian Fagerlund, Sibelius, Heta Aho and Jimmy López. https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/efwbc8 (available until 29 November)
Anna-Maria Helsing conducted the first Scandinavian performance of Nadia Boulanger's La ville morte in concert version at Göteborg Opera on 8 March. Hear the broadcast on 4 July, 20:04-23:00 (CET) : https://www.hr2.de/programm/sendezeiten/hrzwei-guide-100~_date-2020-07-04.html
Anna-Maria Helsing is at the rostrum of BBC Concert Orchestra at London Queen Elizabeth Hall on 22 February to conduct music by Copland, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart among others.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the new production of Mark-Anthony Turnage: Coraline at the Folkoperan Stockholm on 15 February (direction: Aletta Collins). Further dates: 16./ 19./ 23./ 27./ 29.02. and 05.03.
On 31 January Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Turku Philharmonic with music by Eva Dahlgren for soprano and orchestra.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik on 16 January to conduct a programme with music by Jacques Ibert, Max Bruch, Arne Nordheim and Alexander Arutunian.
Anna-Maria Helsing has been appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of BBC Concert Orchestra from April 2020 to September 2022. She will be conducting four projects per season with the orchestra.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in London on 13 December featuring music by Purcell/Talbot, Mahler/Britten, Gerald Finzi, Korngold/Zemlinsky and Janacek/Stein.
Anna-Maria Helsing has been appointed as Artistic Director of the Rusk Chamber Music Festival in Jakobstad, Finland from 2020. The festival takes place annually in November.
On 28 November Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Wermland Opera Orchestra in Karlstad, Sweden in Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 "Scottish" and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Östgöta Wind Symphony in Linköping on 7 November. The programme features music by Ravel, Debussy, Francaix, Sampo Kasurinen, Ingvar Karkoff and Ann-Sofi Söderqvist.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in Kokkola on 28 September with the world premiere of Outi Tarkiainen The Lustful Mother for baritone and chamber orchestra, Tchaikovsky Andante cantabile and Shostakovich Chamber Symphony op. 118a.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the world premiere of the opera Pictures of Life by Olli Kortekangas at Korsholm Music Festival on 1 August with the Vaasa Orchestra and Seinäjoki City Orchestra, Vaasa Opera Choir and soloists.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra in Pitea on 18 June. The programme features music by Wojciech Kilar, Aaron Copland, Jalo K. Mutanen and Ville Ruotsalainen.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Gothenburg Symphony joined by the Iceland Dance Company for the world premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir's dance performance Aion in Gothenburg on 24 May.
Anna-Maria Helsing is at the rostrum of North Iceland Symphony & Songbird Philharmonic, Choir of the North with soloists to conduct two concerts of Mozart's Requiem and Piano Concerto d Minor KV 466 in Akureyri on 18 April and Reykjavik on 19 April.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Iceland Symphony in Reykjavik on 14 March with an Icelandic contemporary programme: Karolina Eiriksdottir: Toccata, Thorsteinn Hauksson: Symphony No. 2, Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Illumine and John Speight: Symphony No. 5.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra in Watford with music by Susan Spain-Dunk, Albert Roussel, Saint-Saens and Augusta Holmes on 18 January.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the rostrum of Swedish Radio Symphony on 12 January with music by Britta Byström, Elgar, Ravel, Prokofjew, Sibelius, Dmitri Kabalevsky, Strawinsky, Aram Khatchaturian and John Williams.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Göteborg Opera Orchestra on 23 November to conduct Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Sibelius Songs (soloist: Katarina Karneus, mezzosoprano) and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra in Helsinki within the 'Nordic Music Days' on 9 November to conduct music by Farangis Nurulla-Khoja, Bjorn Bolstad Skjelbred, Helen Grime, Lars Klit, Magnus Bunnskog and Eivind Buene.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the first performance of Anders Niska's The Magnificent Sisters' Symphony (semi-stage performance) with Royal Stockholm Philharmonic at Konserthuset Stockholm on 6 October.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Finnish Radio Symphony in an Anniversary concert in Helsinki on 12 October "Iceland and Estonia 100 years" with music of
dreams and dreaming by Dvorak, Prokofjew, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Jüri Reinvere. Finnish Radio broadcasts the concert in livestream at 18:00 (CET): https://yle.fi/aihe/tapahtuma/2018/10/12/1210-friday-series-3-iceland-and-estonia-100-yearsRead more
Anna-Maria Helsing is at the rostrum of Trondheim Symphony Orchestra on 26 September and of Trondheim Sinfonietta on 27 September at Trondheim Chamber Music Festival conducting music by Benjamin Britten and Michel van der Aa.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Swedish Radio Symphony with Prokoviev's Peter and the Wolf in two Open Air performances in Stockholm on 16 June.
Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 6 June with the BBC Concert Orchestra painting a musical portrait of the colour orange with music by Delius, Dove, de Falla, Grieg, Torke and Prokoviev.
Anna-Maria Helsing is at the rostrum of the Philharmonia Orchestra (chamber orchestra formation) at Royal Festival Hall within the series 'Music of Today' featuring pieces by Freya Waley-Cohen, Austin Leung and Eugene Birman.
Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra on April 26 with the Scandinavian premiere of „Absent Illusions" for violin, viola and orchestra by Fredrik Högberg, Franz Berwald's "Estrella di Soria - Overture" and Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations".
On 3 May Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra to conduct music by Resphighi, Andrea Tarrodi, Sibelius, Minna Leinonen and Rautavaara.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Gävle Symphony Orchestra in two concerts on 12 and 13 April featuring a Swedish-Finnish programme with works by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Emmy Lindström and Franz Berwald.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Nordic Chamber Orchestra in Sundsvall and Harnosänd in Sweden on 1 and 2 March. The programme features Tobias Broström's Cello Concerto, Uuno Klami's Suite for small orchestra and Mozart's Symphony No. 41 Jupiter.
Anna-Maria Helsing conduct the Pori Sinfonietta in Pori (Finland) on 8 February presenting following programme: Andrea Tarrodi: Camelopardalis, Reinhold Glière: Harp Concerto op.74 and Einojuhani Rautavaara: Autumn gardens.
On 12 January Anna-Maria Helsing is at the rostrum of the Jena Philharmonic to conduct works by Brahms, Erik Esenvalds and Einojuhani Rautavaara
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the New Year's concert at the Gothenburg Opera on 5 January with a complete Leonard Bernstein programme featuring Overture Candide and excerpts of Wonderful town, Candide and West Side Story.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the premiere of Svitlana Azarova's Momo and the time thieves (direction: Elisabeth Linton) at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. Further performances: 22.10., 29.10., 05.11.,19.11., 26.11., 03.12. and 10.12.2017.
Anna-Maria Helsing leads a concert performance of Le Nozze di Figaro with Västeras Sinfonietta, Camerata InCantus choir and soloists in Västeras on 7 September.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts four performances of Le Nozze di Figaro with the Västeras Sinfonietta and Swedish singers in Marienhamn (Aland islands) from 18 - 21 August directed by Laura Ruohonen.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra at Summer Sounds Festival in Porvoo Finland on 1 July. The programme features works by Eva Dahlgren and Emma Salokoski.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Norrköping Symphony on 21 October to conduct Brahms' Symphony No. 1, Lalo's Cello Concerto and Britta Byström's "Segelnde Stadt".
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Espoo on 16 and 17 November with the first performance of Outi Tarkiainen's saxophone concerto (soloist: Jukka Perko), Einojuhani Rautavaara's 'Cantus Arcticus' and Shostakovitch's Chamber Symphony in F op. 73a.
Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra in Oslo on 4 May with Rachmaninov's The Rock, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Symphony No. 7.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the new production of Leevi Madetoja’s opera “The Ostrobothnians” at the Tampere Opera (stage direction: Tuomas Parkkinen) on 10 February. Further performances: 12, 15, 18, 22, 25 February.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Iceland Symphony Orchestra on 19 January in Reykjavik with Jean Sibelius' Rakastava, Kaija Saariaho's Clarinet Concerto (soloist: Kari Kriikku) and Tchaikovsky's
Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique".Read more
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in Kokkola on 17 December with works by Arcangelo Corelli, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Jean Sibelius and Peteris Vasks among others.
Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall on 10 November within the series 'Music of Today'. The programme includes
Johannes Schollhörn Fantasia (UK premiere), Harrison Birtwistle Virelai, Edmund Finnis in situ and Betsy Jolas Lassus Ricercare (UK premiere).Read more
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the new production of Fredrik Högberg's chamber opera Stilla min eld with the Pitea Chamber Opera and Swedish chamber ensemble Norrbotten in Pitea on 15 October. Further performances: 18.10. Lulea, 22.10. Umea, 27.10. Sundsvall.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Gävle Symphony Orchestra on 25 August with Franz Berwald Estrella de Soria, Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1 and Mozart Symphony No. 25 g minor KV 183.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Gothenburg Symphony on 12 March to conduct the programme 'Heaven and Earth' with works by Haydn, Beethoven, Wagner, Sibelius, Charles Ives etc.
Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the orchestra of the Norrlands Opera in Umea (Sweden) on 21 January to conduct Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Leevi Madetoja’s Symphony No. 3
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Pori Sinfonietta in Pori (Finland) on 21 April with Jacques Ibert’s Hommage à Mozart, Mozart’s Symphonie Nr. 38 Prague as well as Saint-Saens‘ Violin Concerto No. 1 and Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December in Stockholm.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra on 7 and 8 October in Stockholm to conduct Ravel’s Bolero, Benjamin Britten's The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Johan Williams' The Raiders March.
Anna-Maria Helsing returns to the Helsingborg Symphony on 18 June with Jean Sibelius En Saga op. 9 , Carl Nielsen Aladdin Suite op. 34 and Sibelius Finlandia.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm on 6 June at the Swedish National Day with works by Bernstein, Gershwin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Bizet, Minkus, C.M. Bellman and Gustav Nordqvist.
Anna Maria Helsing is at the podium of Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik on 12 March . The programme includes works by Sibelius, Lindberg and Rodrigo.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the new production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the Vaasa Opera in Finland on 9 January. Further performances take place on 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 January, 6 and 7 February.
Anna-Maria Helsing conducts the Swedish Västeras Sinfonietta on 6 November in a programme which contrasts Nordic pieces as Lotta Wennäkoski’s Hava and Sibelius’ Pelléas and Mélisande with Richard Strauss Le bourgeois gentilhomme.
The Finnish conductor Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the Kammerakademie Potsdam on 11 October conducting Jean Sibelius’ Suite Rakastava, Mendelssohn’s
Symphony No. 1 c minor and Mozarts Piano Concerto C major KV 457 in Potsdam.The concert will be recorded and broadcasted on 20 November at 20.04 hrs on rbb-Kulturradio.Read more
Anna-Maria Helsing gives her debut with the Gävle Symphony Orchestra. The programme of the special concert for subsribers and invited guests on September 3 includes a dance suite from Hilding Rosenberg's Ballet op. 75, Mozart's Violin Concerto No 3 and Shostakovich's Ballet Suite No 1.
The unleashed Gothenburg Symphony under Anna-Maria Helsing and the Iceland Dance Company in the choreography of Erna Ómarsdóttir at the premiere of "Aion" by Icelander Anna Thorwaldsdóttir proved how much music and movement belong together. […] How eruptively the dancers united to form one entity and then darted apart, how they invaded the orchestra, how instruments were captured and how they began to float, how music and dancers became a "body of sound" and the whole merged into a ritual like complete artwork, aroused a storm of cheers from the mainly youthful audience.
Die Presse, Walter Weidringer, 27.05.2019
The premiere of Aiōn, magnificently directed by Anna-Maria Helsing at the head of an excellent and chameleon-like Gothenburg Symphony, was a resounding success: an abstract work, without specific messages, but that managed to move and make everyone think.
El Pais, Luis Gago, 26.05.2019
The Tchaikovsky symphony No. 6 was far more majestic than Sibelius' Rakastava, from the dark opening and closing bars to the crazy climaxes in between. The conductor's interpretation was convincing, expressive and daring. The playing was secure and professional, but with much passion - just as it should sound. One almost danced out into the dark winter night afterwards.
Frettabladid, Jonas Sen Skrifar, 21.01.2017
The Philharmonia Orchestra’s long-established Music of Today series continued with an especially illuminating recital that focussed on contemporary music redefining that of the past. All four pieces proved well-worth getting to know. Extraordinary that such compelling music has taken forty-six years to reach the UK. It received, as did the other works, very responsive playing from the Philharmonia members and clear and confident conducting from Anna-Maria Helsing, associated to numerous Scandinavian organisations, and no doubt benefitting from studies with Leif Segerstam, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel.
ClassicalSource, Colin Anderson, November 10, 2016
In Shostakovich's challenging Violin Concerto No. 2 Anna-Maria Helsing focusses on precise direction. The dialogues with the solo horn work out beautifully, the orchestra sounds brillantly (...). Bernstein's Symphonic Dances of West Side Story lead the whole orchestra truly to shine in the most variable colors in all sections under Anna-Maria Helsing.
Der Westen, Monika Willer, 15.06.2016
In Jean Sibelius' En saga Anna-Maria Helsing drew out a rich, full tune and She also released a fine drive focusing on the motoric elements and simultaneously managed to draw out beautiful tender gestures." (...) Helsing has a sober style to her conducting, which never loses itself to unessential emotions - neither when wishing to show austere sincerity, nor when it comes to musical drama of the larger scale.
Norrköpings Tidningar, Michael Bruze, 12.11.2015
For the successful realization of the musical part, we owe it to the Vaasa City Orchestra, playing under the elaborate direction of Anna-Maria Helsing.
Keskipohjanmaa, Kari Pappinen, 11.01.2015
Bernstein's charming, somewhat overly intellectual pastiche calls for virtuoso brilliance, and here Anna-Maria Helsing has done an excellent workmanship with the well-playing orchestra and the whole ensemble.
Hufvudstadsbladet, Jan Granberg, 11.01.2015
Older as well as new pieces were sensitively and carefully held together by Anna-Maria Helsing in the concert with the Västeras Sinfonietta. She has a guaranteed future on the conductor's podiums of the world.
Vestmanlands Läns Tidning, Birgit Ahlberg-Hyse, 06.11.2014
Sibelius´ "Suite Rakastava" is articulated so distinctly under the direction of Anna-Maria Helsing, that it seems the instruments would "speak finnish". The ensemble sounds richly colored but tender and transparent at the same time. The austere melancholy never feels to be exaggerated. At Mozart´s Klavierkonzert KV 467 Helsing elicited once again the best sides of the orchestra. The light sound of the strings of the Kammerakademie had its roots in a crystal clear piano - as we longed for so often. The piece starts with a playful march whose natural breathing tempo Anna-Maria Helsing got to the point.
Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, Antje Rößler, 13.10.2014
The engaged and determined conductor Anna-Maria Helsing shaped a fine and vivid entity (...). Helsing and the orchestra were on fire in Hartmann’s Symphony No. 6.
Anna-Maria Helsing, yet another gifted Finnish conductor with a steadily rising career, presented an intelligent survey of this music, along with a symphony from Karl Amadeus Hartmann. In Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder Helsing provided a beautifully understated accompaniment, with excellent woodwind playing and clear chamber music textures.
ResMusica, Derek Ho, 29.12.2013
With precise gestures Anna-Maria Helsing attracts the musician’s attention and takes them on an energetic, flexible journey. “Expo” by Magnus Lindberg was expressed in a prickling, handy crowed way. Presenting works by Jean Sibelius Anna-Maria Helsing led the audience to Finnish music origins, Lindberg long ago left behind. With “En Saga” op. 09 and the “Karelia-Suite” op. 11 programmatic early works by the Romantic were performed, which Anna-Maria Helsing understands to shape in all their subtleties out of the attentively reacting and impulsively performing orchestra.
Thüringer Allgemeine, Hans-Jürgen Thiers, 05.10.2013
Anna-Maria Helsing made a mature interpretation of Puccini's music. Her choice of tempi and ability to give time for the characteristic Puccini-phrasings, showed sense of taste. The balance between the orchestra, the soloists and the choir was in harmony throughout the performance. Anna-Maria Helsing conducted the performance with an infectious energy, that the performers adapted were affected by. The Tampere Philharmonic sounded splendidly and the well-played solos were highly enjoyable. Madame Butterfly once again proved the high level of Tampere Opera's productions.
Österbottens tidning, 21.03.2013