Finnish conductor Maria Itkonen has established herself as one of the most interesting and versatile conductors of her generation. Highlights of her season 23/24 include debuts with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Itkonen has conducted orchestras such as Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Itkonen made her opera debut at Folkoperan Stockholm in September 2022 conducting Norma.
Maria Itkonen has studied conducting with professor Jorma Panula in Finland, and at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm. She has taken part on conducting masterclasses at The Royal Opera House in London, and at The LEAD!- academy with maestro Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Before focusing in conducting, Itkonen made a career as a concertmaster in leading European orchestras such as Luzern Symphony Orchestra and WDR Symphony Orchestra Köln. She has worked regularly with several maestros such as James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Valery Gergiev, Cristoph Eschenbach, Herbert Blomstedt and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Itkonen has received scholarships and awards from The Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Arts Promotion Centre Finland, The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Pro Orchestra and Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation throughout her career.