New maestra rising in Iceland

New maestra rising in Iceland


norman lebrecht

June 13, 2019

The Iceland Symphony Orchestra has chosen Eva Ollikainen, 37, as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director for the next four years.

She succeeds Yan Pascal Tortelier.

A Finnish student of Jorma Panula and Leif Segerstam, she is presently chief of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra.



  • Robert von Bahr says:

    She’s very good indeed. She conducted Kalevi Aho’s 1st Piano Concerto for us, and that’s no walk in the park by any means!

    • Robert von Bahr says:

      I would be extremely interested to know what the 5 “thumbs-down” persons felt necessary to object to. I simply cannot understand it. My post was an entirely positive one and she is genuinely good, regardless of gender (a question that is completely immaterial to me).

  • Musicmax says:

    No-one is surprised that while women are still a minority in conducting training at major conservatoires we are constantly hearing about signings of women by major agencies, women appointed as assistant conductor, appointments of woman as music directors, and women winning major prizes at conducting competitions? I think that if women are c.15% of conducting students we should be hearing of 10-20% of women being appointed, signed of promoted. Instead I’d say that 40-60 news (just check SD) about these things are about women. I just leave it there…

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      Absolutely. For an orchestra, having a woman as a ‘music director’, ‘guest conductor’, or ‘assistant conductor’ is now the “cool thing” and women are being overpromoted. Many underprepared and untalented female conductors are taking advantage of the current situation, and that gives women a bad image. As I always say: real equality will come when the best are hired or promoted regardless of their sex.

      I don’t know this conductor and I don’t know if she is there because she deserves it because of the current fashion.

  • Wilhelm says:

    She’s the real deal among women conductors!

  • Edgar says:

    Kudos to both orchestra and maestra. Exciting things will be heard and experienced at Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik.