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On the Side: Satu Vänskä

ACO Musicians tell us about their other loves.


“During our time off I still travel for my own pleasure”

ACO Principal Violin, Satu Vänskä


My life is filled with travel. Touring is part of our everyday life in the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the busy schedule cultivates a shrewd traveller out of necessity.

During our time off I still travel for my own pleasure. I can’t think of many things more exciting than roaming the nooks and crannies of a South East Asian megalopolis or hiking the vast Nordic forests.

I grew up in Japan and I travelled to Finland a couple of times with my family during my first decade. Dad used to say that it’s not that far as there is only one country in between Japan and Finland: Russia, or the Soviet Union as it was called then.

I became a FinnairPlus member from that time, and I have maintained my membership to this day.

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Places that have most surprised me include Beijing, where I went with the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra in 1996. We played concerts in the "Forbidden City". At the time there was absolutely no sign - to me at least - of the massive economic and social change that would erupt only a few years later.

My memories of visiting St Petersburg in around 1995 are also pretty wild.

In terms of places I haven't been to yet, I would love to go to the west coast of Africa; Ghana perhaps. And return to Japan is on top of my travel-mind.

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