Leif Segerstam is an award-winning conductor, composer, violinist and pianist with a prominent international career. He received diplomas from the Sibelius Academy in violin and conducting. He won the Maj Lind Piano Competition in 1962 and gave his first violin recital in 1963. He rounded off his studies at the Juilliard School in New York, where he was awarded a conducting diploma in 1964.
In 2012 Segerstam was engaged as the Principal Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Finland’s oldest symphony orchestra, celebrating its 225th anniversary in 2015. His extensive conducting career includes engagements as Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Royal Opera in Stockholm, Director of the Finnish National Opera, Principal Conductor of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra and of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Principal Conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, where he currently holds the position of Emeritus Principal Conductor.
From autumn 1997 to spring 2013, Leif Segerstam was Professor of Orchestra Conducting at the Sibelius Academy. He was the winner of the 1999 Nordic Council Music Prize for his work “as a tireless champion of Scandinavian music” and the Swedish Cultural Foundation’s Prize for Music in 2003. In 2004 Leif Segerstam was awarded the annual Finnish State Prize for Music and in 2005 the highly esteemed Sibelius Medal. He has gained wide acclaim due to his numerous recordings with different orchestras.
While pursuing his conducting career, Segerstam has also produced an extensive oeuvre as a composer. His biography includes two hundred and eighty-five symphonies, violin concerti, piano concerti and numerous chamber music and vocal pieces.