Leif Segerstam was the 11th Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995 to 2007 and is today its Emeritus Chief Conductor. He has been praised by critics for creating powerful, convincing performances that are compelling both musically and emotionally. A true musical polymath, Leif Segerstam studied violin, piano, composition, and conducting at the Sibelius Academy and continued at the Juilliard School. He won the Maj Lind competition for pianists at the age of 18 in 1962 an at the age of 21, he was appointed Conductor of the Finnish National Opera. His conducting career continued with posts at the Royal Opera of Stockholm and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as Chief Conductor positions at the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland- Pfalz, the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Opera in Stockholm. Leif Segerstam has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has also conducted in most of the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, the opera houses of Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, and Geneva, as well as at the Salzburg and Savonlinna Festivals.