Born to a Finnish family in Japan, Satu Vänskä has developed an international profile through her position for 20 years as Principal Violin of the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Regarded as one of the best chamber orchestras in the world, Satu has both directed and performed as violin soloist with the ACO who are highly regarded for delivering transformative musical experiences on the stages of the world’s leading concert halls.
Satu’s development of solo violin projects is an extension and continuation of her desire to continually evolve as a musician and to courageously embrace new musical challenges. Her passion for dynamic programming constantly exploring the link between old and new music, plus blurring the boundaries in cross-genre collaborations gives Satu an appeal that resonates with today’s classical music audiences.
As a soloist, Satu has performed with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, at the Sydney Opera House as part of the venue’s Utzon Room music series, the Melbourne Recital Centre (she opened their Great Performers Series in 2019) and as part of Tasmania’s Mona Foma festival. Further afield, Satu has also performed with London’s Aurora Orchestra in the 2018 London season of Weimar Cabaret with the late Barry Humphries, the Arctic Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti and the Festival Maribor in Slovenia.
Satu is also the Founder, Curator, Front-woman, Violinist and Vocalist of the critically acclaimed ACO Underground, the ACO’s electro-infused, experimental spin-off project. With ACO Underground, Satu has performed collaborations with artists including Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie and the Violent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie in venues including New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Phoenix Central Park, and as part of Sydney’s Vivid Festival.
Satu took her first violin lessons at the age of three in Japan and at the age of ten her family moved back to Finland where she continued her studies with Pertti Sutinen at the Lahti Conservatorium and the Sibelius Academy. She later studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich as a pupil of Ana Chumachenco.
Satu performs on the 1726 Belgiorno Stradivarius Violin.