Innovation, passion, and versatility are the hallmarks of India born Danish conductor Maria Badstue, praised as “one of the best young Danish conductors of today,” (Berlingske Media). An accessible collaborator and innate communicator, Ms. Badstue is a popular conductor in the Nordic countries, particularly Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The recipient of a prestigious 2019-2021 Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship (TACF), she is mentored by TACF Founder and internationally renowned conductor Marin Alsop. In addition to her work as Artistic Director and Founder for Nordic Masterclass for Conductors (celebrating 10 years this 2023) and INDK Symphonic Collaboration, two acclaimed initiatives that she launched in 2012 and 2018 respectively.
Maria Badstue’s 2022-23 season is marked by debuts in the United States, Italy and France: in the fall, in Italy, she makes her orchestral debut with the Orchestre di Padova e del Veneto, and in France, she debuts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice conducting Stravinsky’s Sacre de Printemps. In spring 2023, she makes her US debut with the Portland Opera conducting the production of THUMBPRINT by Kamala Sankaram. In October, Ms. Badstue leads Svenska Kvinnoorkestern with guest soloist Dame Evelyn Glennie, in a program featuring works by Jill Jarman, Aviya Kopelman, Andrea Tarrodi, and Evelyn Glennie/Philip Sheppard. Late November features the second edition of the Ørestad Klassiske MusikFestival. In the second half of the season, Ms. Badstue returns to the Theater & Orchester Neubrandenburg / Neustrelitz to lead then 2023 production of Samuel Barber’s VANESSA (performances in January, February, March, April and May). Summer 2022 includes traveling to the U.S. in late July as a TAKI Alsop Fellow for the Ravinia Festival’s “Breaking Barriers Festival” with Marin Alsop, and The Conductors Week("Dirigentuka") in Stavanger in August. Future engagements include guesting with the Symphony Orchestra of India.
Ms. Badstue’s 2021-22 season included her German opera conducting debut leading three performances of Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser Von Atlantis at Theater und Orchester Neubrandenburg / Neustrelitz, and a special presentation and Q & A at CINEMATEKET of the documentary The Long Way to the Podium featuring soprano Barbara Hannigan, and Ms. Badstue’s mentor, conductor Marin Alsop. She led performances with the South Denmark Philharmonic, Odense Symphony Orchestra and the Randers Chamber Players. She also recorded works by Mendelssohn, Bartok and Mussorgsky and Danish composer Andy Pape with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and works by Wagner, Rossini, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky with the Royal Danish Orchestra/Det Kongelige. She conducted the Copenhagen Philharmonic at Denmark’s renowned public Tivoli Gardens, led the 8th Nordic Masterclass for Conductors with Jorma Panula and The South Denmark Philharmonic, appeared as a guest speaker at University of Oxford's Oxford International Conducting Institutem, led two performances of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at Copenhagen’s Koncertkirken with musicians from the Royal Danish Opera and Nontardar, and guested at the Copenhagen Opera Festival at Den Røde Plads / BLOX Copenhagen.
Past season highlights include guesting with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Odense and Aalborg, Sweden’s Gothenburg, Helsingborg, and Malmö symphonies, Orkester Norden, Kristiansand Symphony, and the Romanian Radio Orchestra.
Maria Badstue has served asassistant conductor to both Esa-Pekka Salonen (Philharmonia Orchestra, 2016/2017 season), and to Michael Boder (Wiener Staatsoper, production of Hindemith's Cardillac 2015).
As comfortable in the pit as she is on the podium, Maria Badstue is a strong supporter of modern opera. She made her 2012 opera debut premiering Lars Klit’s Angelo – La Opera in Copenhagen. Additional opera highlights include a 2015 Copenhagen premiere production of John Frandsen’s A Doll’s House with the Athelas Sinfonietta, and her acclaimed 2018 Swedish opera debut with a 14-performance run of Massenet’s Don Quixote and a gala performance with FolkOperan in Stockholm.
Sought after for her communicative abilities both on and off the podium, Ms. Badstue's strong belief in the power of music has manifested itself in two successful initiatives to date. Both INDK Symphonic Collaboration and Nordic Masterclass for Conductors promote classical music as both an art form and as an important part of society.Hosted by India’s premier cultural institution, the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, in collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra of India, INDK's programme, “A Symphonic Collaboration Between India and Denmark” launched in 2018. Aiming to strengthen relations between the two countries through culture, it is the first-ever week-long initiative set in Mumbai involving masterclasses, lectures, and musical workshops, that will culminate in two unique concerts featuring classical musicians from both countries. The collaboration’s debut has been delayed by COVID-19 and postponed to a future date.
A proponent for education in the conducting field, in 2012 Ms. Badstue founded the Nordic Masterclass for Conductors, today considered one of the most important conducting masterclasses in Europe. In collaboration with distinguished Professor Jorma Panula and the South Denmark Philharmonic, Ms. Badstue creates possibilities for young conductors to develop their craft.
In addition to the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, Ms. Badstue was a prizewinner in the 5th Lovro von Matatic Competition with the Croatian Radio and Television Orchestra, is a recipient of the Sonning Talent Prize, an Augustinus Foundation Jubilee Grant, and a Hämeenlinna City Orchestra Conductors Stipend. A member of Denmark’s Kraks Blaa Bog (Who’s Who) since 2015, she has twice been awarded the Danish Conductors Association’s Arne Hammelboe Scholarship Grant. She also has the distinction of being only the second alumna to be named an honorary student at Thisted Gymnasium (her former high school).
A trained trumpetist, Maria Badstue worked professionally as a trumpetist in Denmark and Finland before focusing on a career in conducting. She holds Master’s degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the Norwegian State Academy, and in Trumpet Performance from the Danish National Academy of Music. She has participated in masterclasses with Bernard Haitink and George Hurst. Rooted in the Finnish School of Orchestral Conducting, Ms. Badstue's major conducting teachers include Jorma Panula (with whom she also studied privately), Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Ole Kristian Ruud. Her mentors include Jorma Panula and Marin Alsop.