“To play the violin and conduct”, says John Storgårds, is “a good combination. I need violin playing. It helps me to continue developing.” And indeed, the Finnish musician has scored comparable triumphs as an orchestral director and a violin virtuoso. Storgårds first studied the violin with the legendary Chaim Taub in Israel and became concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra before going to Helsinki to train as a conductor with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas at the Sibelius Academy. Storgårds achieved international recognition both through his thrilling and refined performances and through his creative sense of programming. “Nowadays,” says the avowed Harnoncourt admirer, “we can shift, so to speak, into the style of Mozart, Schumann or Shostakovich, because we know, for example, with what differentiation the bow has to be applied for the interpretation to be stylistically appropriate.” It's no wonder that Storgårds is a welcome guest conductor of many leading orchestras. His vast repertoire includes all the symphonies of Sibelius, Nielsen, Bruckner, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann, as well as rarities by Nordic composers such as Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Leevi Madetoja, Selim Palmgren und Uuno Klami. He also devotes himself regularly to new works, many of which have been dedicated to him – among others, Per Nørgård’s Eighth Symphony and Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne for solo violin.