Satu Vänskä

Principal Violin

Satu Vänskä was appointed Assistant Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2004. Satu was born to a Finnish family in Japan where she took her first violin lessons at the age of three. Her family moved back to Finland in 1989 and she continued her studies with Pertti Sutinen at the Lahti Conservatorium and the Sibelius Academy.

At the age of 11 Satu was selected for the Kuhmo Violin School in Finland, a special institution for talented young violinists where she attended masterclasses with Ilya Grubert, Zinaida Gilels and Pavel Vernikov and had the opportunity to perform at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival with the Kuhmo Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. From 1997 Satu was a pupil of Ana Chumachenco at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich where she finished her diploma in 2001. This led to her performances with the Munich Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, at the Tuusulanjärvi Festival, and at Festivo Aschau.

In 1998 Sinfonia Lahti named her ‘young soloist of the year’. In 2000 she was a prize winner of the ‘Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben’ and from 2001 she played under the auspices of the Live Music Now Foundation founded by Yehudi, Lord Menuhin which gave her the opportunity to perform with musicians like Radu Lupu and Heinrich Schiff.

Satu performs regularly as lead violin and soloist with the ACO, and features in a variety of roles at festivals with the ACO in Australia, Niseko and Maribor. Satu was presented in recital in July 2012 by the Sydney Opera House as part of their
Utzon Room Music Series.

In 2011, she became the custodian of the only Stradivarius violin in Australia – the magnificent 1728/29 violin on loan from the ACO’s Instrument Fund.

Chair sponsored by Kay Bryan