Wild man of the north grabs new job

Wild man of the north grabs new job


norman lebrecht

May 02, 2018

The irrepressible Leif Segerstam has been appointed principal guest conductor of Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, in Denmark. Stand by for storms.

Leif, 74, composer of 316 symphonies, is prone to concert outbursts (watch here) and generally to conduct matters in his own inimitable way.

Aarhus, a quiet place, has recovered from financial difficulties under music director Marc Soustrot and chief exec Kristian Rahbek Knudsen, and is now the first orchestra in Denmark with a proper fundraising operation. The fiery Finn will give them profile.



  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Leif Segerstam is a big conductor who can be really great sometimes.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It seems that ‘touching’ was the problem, given his girth, the feminine always remaining out of touch reach.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    319 symphonies as of early 2018, according to wikipedia.

  • Rob says:

    His recording of Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Suite is top of the pile.

  • CYM says:

    His concert outburst during Scheherazade could have been caused by some consumption of Whisky Korsakov, backstage … !?

  • Player says:

    He conducted a performance of Bruckner 8 (replacing Bychkov) a year or two ago that literally had me gasping…

    Immense – in every sense.

    • Dr Presume says:

      Ah yes, that 104 minute one from the Barbican; an absolute revelation, for my money.

      I grabbed a recording off the old iplayer at the time, and it’s my go-to version now…!

      • Player says:

        He is great fun to play for too. We didn’t mind as much as the BBC whose programme overran.

  • John Barber says:

    Not only has Kristian Knudsen turned around the finances of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, but has already laid the artistic foundations in place to ensure the ensemble becomes one of the leading orchestras in northern Europe.
    They are lucky to have him.

  • Jean says:

    Lucky Danes 🙂
    Segerstam is a living legend !

  • Player says:

    Have he and Brian Blessed ever been seen in the same room?

  • Sue says:

    This man scares me just looking at him.

  • peter.longshaw1@ntlworld.com says:

    the RIMSKY is not an out burst…some of the string players join in the shouting and he clearly is adding this to the orchestration