During a career spanning more than a decade, Dalia Stasevska (b. 1984), principal conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, has become one of the most internationally prominent Finnish conductors. Appearances with Finnish orchestras led to numerous invitations, first to other Nordic orchestras and opera houses, and then to Europe, Australia and Asia, and in recent years also to the notoriously hard-to-reach big-name orchestras in the USA.
Highlights of Stasevska’s last season included first appearances in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington. In Great Britain, she remains principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted, for example, Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at the 2023 Glyndebourne Opera Festival.
Stasevska had conducted the Lahti Symphony Orchestra only twice before being offered a permanent position. Immediately after the first day of rehearsal with the orchestra, Stasevska observed that the orchestra has a positive working atmosphere and a mindset that takes them a long way. ‘I like the attitude towards making music in Lahti. The musicians dive right in, they’re enthusiastic, they work hard and with ambition’, says Stasevska. ‘I found this very inspiring.’
The choice of repertoire in Stasevska’s this season continues in the same vein as the previous season, with concerts of classics, rarities and novelties.
Stasevska is inspired not only by music but also by art, and is especially fond of contemporary art. When she is travelling, museums of contemporary art are always top of her list to visit. She is also passionate about architecture and design, which always arouse her curiosity, whether the focus is on Italian architecture of the 1960s or on Finnish kitchen utensil design.
She follows classical and light music with equal enthusiasm, and is inspired by opera and, for example, new pop music. And Stasevska has invited some of her favourites to Lahti, such as Yona, Aili Ikonen and Pyhimys.
Stasevska is also strongly drawn to nature. While living on a farm in Tuusula for a couple of years, she had two pet chickens named – fittingly – Clara and Alma. ‘And the rooster, Jorma, also spent his summer holidays in the henhouse’, says Stasevska. She sums up her attitude to both life and the job of a principal conductor: ‘I set great store by playfulness. If you are fearless and go with the flow, unexpected things and insights always follow. Children, too, learn a lot just by playing. I see that the Lahti Symphony Orchestra is equally open-minded.’