Philharmonia Orchestra

Philharmonia Orchestra

Led by its Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia has a pioneering approach to the role of the modern-day symphony orchestra, reaching new audiences and participants through audience development, digital technology and learning and participation programmes. Based in London, but with residencies in cities throughout England and a thriving international touring programme and global digital reach, the Philharmonia engages with a world-wide audience.

Helsing, Anna-Maria


Anna-Maria Helsing has gained an outstanding reputation with leading Scandinavian orchestras and opera houses. From 2010 to 2013 Anna-Maria Helsing was Chief Conductor of the Oulu Symphony – the first-ever female conductor at the head of a Finnish symphony orchestra.

Within a short time, the Finnish conductor has conducted all the major Finnish orchestras including the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Finnish National Opera Orchestra. She has also conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Norrköping Symphony, Malmö Opera Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony, Gävle Symphony, Orchestra of Norrlands Operan, Västeras Sinfonietta, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Iceland Symphony, Odense Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Jena Philharmonic, Bochum Symphony and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

Anna-Maria Helsing was Assistant Conductor at the Finnish National Opera for Kung Karls jakt by Fredrik Pacius and at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 2006/07. In 2008 she made her debut at the Finnish National Opera with Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho. She subsequently led the world premiere of the opera Hallin Janne by Jukka Linkola with the Jyväskylä Sinfonia; Gianni Schicchi/Cavalleria Rusticana in Oulu; Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto at the Savonlinna Opera Festival 2011; Madama Butterfly at the Tampere Opera in 2013 and Bernstein’s Candide at the Opera Vaasa, as well as Magnus-Maria by Katarina Eiriksdottir on tour in Scandinavia in 2014 and 2015. In 2017 she led the new production of Leevi Madetoja’s The Ostrobothnians at the Tampere Opera.

Anna-Maria Helsing feels a special affinity with the sound and style of modernism and contemporary music. Major highlights this season include her debuts with the Royal Danish Opera, Malmö Symphony and Orchestra of the Göteborg Opera, and return visits to the Philharmonia Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Norrköping Symphony and Nordic Chamber Orchestra among others.

Anna-Maria Helsing began her career as a violinist, leading chamber orchestras before serving as conductor of the Wegelius Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Pietarsaari Sinfonietta. She has attended masterclasses with Jorma Panula, Vladimir Jurowski and John Carewe.

Concurrent with her studies in the class of Leif Segerstam, Anna-Maria Helsing was chosen to take part in the International Conductor’s Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation under the guidance of Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel.

In 2011, Anna-Maria Helsing became the first conductor to be awarded the Louis Spohr Medal in Seesen (Germany). In 1999 she won First Prize in the International Competition for 20th Century Music for Young Artists in Warsaw.

Anna-Maria Helsing received her violin diplomas from the Conservatory of Pietarsaari and at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz

Image Credit: 
Timo Heikkala


Philharmonia Composers' Academy Vol 2

Philharmonia Composers Academy Vol 2
  • Total duration: 29'09
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Philharmonia Orchestra
Anna-Maria Helsing conductor


The Philharmonia Composers’ Academy, presented in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society and allied to the Orchestra’s prestigious Music of Today contemporary music series, annually offers the opportunity for three talented emerging composers to write an original chamber work for a Philharmonia Ensemble.

Their ten-minute new works are premiered by an ensemble of Philharmonia musicians at a Music of Today concert at the Royal Festival Hall prior to a full Philharmonia Orchestra concert.

In addition to this high-profile performance, the composers are guided through the writing process by Music of Today Artistic Director Unsuk Chin, as well as benefitting from specially curated seminars, masterclasses, instrument exploration sessions and a ‘works in progress’ workshop. From 2017 a recording and release on the NMC Recordings label has been included, enabling the works to have an international platform via online stores and streaming platforms.

Austin Leung's Music from the World includes hints of Argentine tango, and folk melodies. Eugene Birman's Adagio draws on time he spent in the far north, "the experiences of the never-ending forests and lakes in the Baltic countries and Finland that I remember from childhood", and Freya Waley-Cohen's Ink has a jaunty, jazzy quality, the title inspired by a poetry book on her shelf at home called Bottled Air –  "it always gives me the image of capturing the writer’s breath and bottling it into ink".


This release is part of our Philharmonia Composers' Academy series, find out more here.


 ‘Freya Waley-Cohen’s Ink is a compelling listen with just the right amount of intrigue and spikiness to hook me in’


The Philharmonia Orchestra's 2017/18 Composers' Academy was supported by:

Royal Philharmonic Society

PRSF     ernst von siemens

Composers’ Academy partner in Leicester

de montfort

We are grateful to the following for their support: The Boltini Trust, The Leche Trust, RVW Trust

Royal Philharmonic Society is grateful for the support of Britten-Pears Foundation, Delius Trust, Radcliffe Trust and Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation                                             


All works recorded live at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London on 7 June, 2018

Recording Producer/Engineer JON STOKES at Classic Sound Ltd.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL3037
Release Date:
18 January 2019