Leif Segerstam, born in 1944, is one of the most versatile and interesting musical talents in the Nordic countries. After studies in violin, piano, composition and conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki 1952-63 he continued with post-graduate studies at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. His initial career as a conductor started with positions in the opera houses of Helsinki, Stockholm and West Berlin, and guest appearances included the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden, Teatro Colon and the opera houses of Cologne, Hamburg and Munich, Geneva and the Salzburg Festival. At the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland Segerstam has conducted Salome, Boris Godunov, Don Carlos, Aida, The Flying Dutchman, Fidelio and Macbeth.
In 1975-82 Segerstam was chief conductor of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna and 1977-87 of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Helsinki.As GMD of Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz Segerstam served 1983-89 and still keeps contact as honorary guest conductor.
In December 1988 he was appointed chief conductor of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra till 1995 when he started as chief conductor of the Royal Opera of Stockholm. From the same autumn 1995 on Leif Segerstam was appointed Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.