Santtu-Matias Rouvali (born 5 November 1985) is a Finnish conductor and percussionist.
Rouvali was born in Lahti into a family of musicians. Rouvali's parents played in the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He is the oldest of the three sons in his family. One of his younger brothers died in a car accident at age 23.
Rouvali learned percussion as a youngster, and continued his studies at the Sibelius Academy. Rouvali competed in the Eurovision Young Soloists Finnish qualifier in 2004 as a percussionist. As a percussionist, he performed with such orchestras as the Mikkeli City Orchestra, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. At age 22, he focused more on studies in conducting at the Sibelius Academy, where his teachers included Jorma Panula, Leif Segerstam and Hannu Lintu.
In September 2009, Rouvali guest-conducted the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as an emergency substitute conductor. He first guest-conducted the Tapiola Sinfonietta in November 2010. Later in the same month, the Tapiola Sinfonietta named Rouvali an artist-in-association with the orchestra, effective September 2011, with an agreement of 3 years.
Rouvali first guest-conducted the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2010. He subsequently returned as a guest conductor in December 2011. In September 2012, the orchestra announced the appointment of Rouvali as its chief conductor, effective with the 2013–2014 season, with an initial contract of 3 years. His Tampere contract was later extended to 2020.
Outside of Finland, Rouvali first guest-conducted the Copenhagen Philharmonic in November 2011. He subsequently became principal guest conductor of the Copenhagen Philharmonic with the 2013–2014 season. In August 2014, Rouvali made his first guest-conducting appearance with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (GSO). In May 2016, the GSO announced the appointment of Rouvali as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2017–2018 season, with an initial contract of 4 years. In May 2019, the GSO announced the extension of Rouvali's contract through 2025.
Rouvali first guest-conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra in January 2013. In March 2017, the Philharmonia announced the appointment of Rouvali as one of its two new principal guest conductors, effective with the 2017–2018 season. In May 2019, the Philharmonia announced the appointment of Rouvali as its next principal conductor, effective with the 2021–2022 season, with an initial contract of 5 years. In September 2020, the Philharmonia released its first recording with Rouvali as conductor, a recording of Swan Lake made in 2019.
Rouvali has made commercial recordings with the Oulu Philharmonic Orchestra for Ondine, and with the Tampere Philharmonic for Orfeo. In 2018 (released 2019) Rouvali recorded Sibelius' 1st symphony and En Saga for Alpha Cassics with the Gothenburg Symphony, which CD won the Gramophone Editor's Choice award, the Choc de Classica, a prize from the German Record Critics and the Diapason d'Or. A second Alpha Classics CD, with Sibelius' 2nd symphony and the King Christian II Suite, was released in February 2020.
- Matthias Mattila (12 December 2015). ""Ehkä mulla on ADHD omalla tavallaan" – Santtu-Matias Rouvali rauhoittuu, kun musiikki on hänen näpeissään". YLE (Finnish Radio). Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Santtu-Matias Rouvali appointed Artist in Association of the Tapiola Sinfonietta" (Press release). Harrison Parrott. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Santtu-Matias Rouvali Tampere Filharmonian ylikapellimestariksi 2013" (Press release). City of Tampere. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Santtu-Matias Rouvalille toinenkin ylikapellimestaripesti" (Press release). Tampere Philharmonic. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Gothenburg Symphony appoints Santtu-Matias Rouvali as Chief Conductor" (Press release). Harrison Parrott. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "31-årig dirigent ska leda symfonikerna i Goteborg". Sverige-Radio. 25 May 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Rouvali förlänger sitt kontrakt" (Press release). Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "The Philharmonia announces two Principal Guest Conductors: Jakub Hrůša and Santtu-Matias Rouvali" (Press release). Philharmonia Orchestra. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
- "The Philharmonia Announces Santtu-Matias Rouvali As Its Next Principal Conductor" (Press release). Philharmonia Orchestra. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake". Philharmonia. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
- Kate Molleson (24 September 2015). "Nielsen/Sibelius: Violin Concertos, etc CD review – clean, supple and boisterous". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "Santtu-Matias Rouvali". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- Kari Virtanen (12 October 2012). "Santtu-Matias Rouvali ihastui Lepsämään". Nurmijärven Uutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- Markku Juusola (5 April 2015). "Bra att vara lämpligt galen". LL-Bladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 October 2019.
- Tampere Philharmonic Finnish-language page on Santtu-Matias Rouvali
- Harrison Parrott agency page on Santtu-Matias Rouvali
- Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra page on Santtu-Matias Rouvali
| Chief Conductor, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra