Lilli Paasikivi ranks amongst the world’s leading interpreters of the Mahler song-cycles and symphonies. Appearances have included Das Lied von der Erde and Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Salonen); Symphony No.2 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Oramo) and NHK Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi); Symphony No.3 with the London Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi); Symphony No.8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker (Rattle); Kindertotenlieder with the New World Symphony (Tilson Thomas); and Das Lied von der Erde with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Elder).
Lilli Paasikivi made her debut with the New York Philharmonic (Maazel) in the world-premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s The Enchanted Wanderer returning for Mahler’s Symphony No.2 and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem both under Alan Gilbert. As a champion of the music of her homeland, other concert highlights have included Sibelius’ Kullervo and a new commission, Migrations, by Olli Kortekangas with the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of fellow Finn Osmo Vänskä. She performed Sibelius’ incidental music for The Tempest with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Vänskä) and sang the role of The Pilgrim in the French premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin at Theatre du Chatelet under Kent Nagano.
Following her debut with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker as Fricka in the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wagnerian roles have become central to Lilli Paasikivi’s work on stage with notable performances at La Monnaie as Brangäne, at Staatsoper Hamburg as Fricka, at Oper Frankfurt as Kundry and last season she appeared as Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen at Finnish National Opera under the baton of Susanna Mälkki. Other roles at Finnish National Opera have included Carmen, Amneris and Eboli and elsewhere she made her house debuts at Opéra National de Lyon as Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in the world-premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Hanjo.