The Chief Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstam, received remarkable acknowledgements from the city of Turku, when his era at the lead of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra ends in May 2019.

The title of Honorary Conductor was appointed to Segerstam and the first statuette Golden Lily was awarded to him. Segerstam received the acknowledgements in an event organized after his second last concert on Thursday, the 16th of May.

The era of Leif Segerstam as the Chief Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra ended with Richard Strauss’ Salome-opera at the Turku Concert Hall on Thursday, the 16th and on Friday, the 17th of May. The new bell of the Turku Concert Hall indicating the intermission, which was composed by Segerstam, was published in those concerts.

Maestro Leif Segerstam was nominated as the Honorary Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) only as the second person in the long history of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Paavo Berglund was appointed as the first Honorary Conductor.

The statuette The Golden Lily was awarded to the Chief Conductor Leif Segerstam as a reward of his work for the city of Turku. Mayor of the City of Turku, Minna Arve, awarded the statuette to Segerstam.

- It is a great honour for us that Segerstam has done his utmost for the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra in this cultural city. It has been heard and seen in our home city. Furthermore, Segerstam has been awarded several prices in the world. I want to express my special thanks to Maestro Segerstam for all the lovers of classical music and for the city of Turku, says Minna Arve.

The original sculpture of The Golden Lily was created by the great Finnish sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen in 1929. The city of Turku has made a special lot of the statuette The Golden Lily for protocol gifs. Segerstam is the first laureate of the statuette.

Segerstam Has Had Great Impact on the TPO

75-year-old Leif Segerstam has had significant impact on the artistic level and image of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra during his period as a chief conductor 2012−2019. Segerstam has recorded with the TPO for example some of the rarest works of Sibelius and all the four symphonies of Brahms. Furthermore, a series of records, Beethoven Complete, will get ready during the current period. TPO has presented for example all the symphonies of Sibelius and several symphonies of Segerstam under his own lead.

Segerstam had a long career in Turku. He led the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time already on the 19th of May 1966 when he was 22 years old. 50 years of Segerstam in Turku was celebrated on the 19th of May 2016.

Leif Segerstam is one of the most versatile musical talents in the Nordic countries. He is a conductor, a composer, a violinist and a pianist. Word-famous Leif Segerstam has worked as a conductor and a chief conductor in several known opera houses and symphony orchestras. Segerstam has created a notable amount of musical compositions which include among others more than 310 symphonies.

Segerstam’s impressive and imposing career has been recognized with several acknowledgements. In 2014, the President of Finland granted Segerstam the title of Professor.

What Is the Golden Lily?

The Golden Lily statuette. Photo: Susse Määttänen

The statuette The Golden Lily is based on sculptor Wäinö Aaltonen’s sculpture The Golden Lily from 1929. The earlier granitic model of the statute, The Lily of Turku (1924–26), has been delighting the passers-by in Runeberg Park in Turku already since 1928.

The original sculpture, which is about one-meter high gold-plated wood sculpture, belonged to Gösta Stenman, an art dealer, who was originally from Helsinki but had moved to Tukholma. For a long period of time, there were no traces of the sculpture and the destiny of the sculpture was unclear for decades. In 2013, the sculpture belonged to a Swedish owner who arrived at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Turku to present a picture of The Golden Lily. The owner wished that the old and precious wood sculpture needed to have a museum to be preserved for future generations.

In 2014, the city of Turku decided to buy The Golden Lily for 50,000 euros to its art collection with the profit made by the City Decoration Fund. The statue has been present in art exhibitions in the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art. This fragile piece of art is only exhibited in special circumstances.

The statuette The Golden Lily is a 3D modeling made from the original statue, which has been combined with a handmade gold plating with genuine leaf gold, like in the original sculpture. The method used for bonding is about 1000 years old linseed oil with many pre-treatments. The stand is made of granite that has been mined from the rocks of the Kakola area.