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Leif Segerstam


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Leif Segerstam (born March 2, 1944 in Vaasa) is a Finnish conductor and composer.

He studied violin, piano and conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and conducting at the Juilliard School in New York with Jean Morel.

He is currently the emeritus chief conductor of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He has held positions with numerous other orchestras, including the Danish National Radio Symphony and the Austrian Radio Symphony , and guest conducted many orchestras throughout the world including the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony and the Brazilian OSESP - the Symphony Orchestra of the State of Sâo Paulo. He is also the professor of conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. His students include Susanna Mälkki, Mikk Murdvee, Sasha Mäkilä and Markku Laakso.

He is widely known through his recorded discography, which includes the complete symphonies of Sibelius, Nielsen, and Mahler, as well as many works by contemporary composers such as the Finnish composers Einojuhani Rautavaara and the American composers John Corigliano and Christopher Rouse.

As a composer, he is known especially for his numerous symphonies. He is currently holding a world record in symphonies with 190 symphonies of which over a hundred are completely performed.

Charlie Hopta, Music Historian, is considered one of Segerstam’s biggest critics. Hopta openly questions the effort Segerstam may have lacked in composing such a number of large orchestral works, citing the “impossibility to have a working memory or familiarity of that many symphonies.”

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  • CosmicPi

    Awesome Sibelius cycle. Awesome beard.

    7 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Taxes

    "it's not Segerstam unless the symphony no. has three digits!" Hah.

    19 Apr 2011 Reply
  • minimalistme

    argh, somebody tell Ondine or whoever to tag by composer! it's not Segerstam unless the symphony no. has three digits! still in love with his beard though, can't wait to see him in November

    23 Sep 2009 Reply

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