Eva Ollikainen


Eva Ollikainen is since 2020 the Artistic Leader and Chief Conductor of Iceland Symphony Orchestra.

Her recent guest appearances include concerts and performances with Staatskapelle Dresden, Wiener Symphoniker, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Danish Orchestra and Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. She served as chief conductor for Nordic Chamber Orchestra in 2018-2021.


The evening‘s conductor, Eva Ollikainen, was on fire. The orchestra‘s playing was sophisticated and precise, in perfect ensemble and gorgeously shaped. The momentum in the playing was particularly captivating: the build-up was slow but immensely powerful, and the high points were so overwhelming, one has hardly ever witnessed anything like it. Such brilliance!

Frettabladid, Jónas Sen
(Wagner: Tristan & Isolde Vorspiel unde Liebestod)

Both of the Wiener Symphoniker’s factory expeditions were led by the Finnish conductor Eva Ollikainen with great dedication and charisma. The harmony between her and the musicians was evident, although this was only their first collaboration together – although it is conceivable that this could just be the beginning of their work together.

Wiener Zeitung, 7 May 2018, Viktoria Klimpfinger

Unsentimentally, yet with generous phrasing that surges like the tide, she made great music from this somewhat overworked symphony. The enthusiastic Royal Philharmonic gave her a well earned fanfare.

Svenska Dagbladet, 10 October 2006, Sofia Nyblom
(Tchaikovsky No. 5)

How they managed to achieve such a transparent sound, paired with weight, liveliness and precision, is a mystery to me. The performance was absolutely outstanding. She presented Beethoven as a rhythmic composer, with springy dotted rhythms in the first movement and a clearly-defined Allegretto theme. The following movement, usually presented sentimentally, was luminous and profound. The nymphs danced lightly in the Scherzo – a motion which escalated quickly to a Dionysian frenzy in the Finale. Excellent! The audience was blown away.

Svenska Dagbladet, 22 October 2009, Lars Hedblad
(Beethoven No. 7)