Storgårds studied violin with Esther Raitio and Jouko Ignatius at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and continued his violin studies with Chaim Taub in Israel. He was a founding member of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. After experience leading orchestras from the front desk of the violin section, his interest in conducting increased after an invitation to conduct the Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra. He subsequently returned to the Sibelius Academy from 1993-1997 to study conducting with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas.
In 1996, Storgårds became Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland. With the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, he became Principal Guest Conductor in 2003 and subsequently Chief Conductor in autumn 2008, for an initial contract of 4 years. His Helsinki contract has since been extended to 2014. In October 2013, the orchestra announced a further extension of his contract through December 2015, at which time Storgårds is scheduled to step down from the chief conductorship of the orchestra.. From 2006 to 2009, Storgårds was Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Storgårds has held the Artistic Directorships of many summer festivals, most recently of the Korsholm Music Festival between 2004–2006, and Avanti's! Summer Sounds Festival. Outside of Finland, in March 2011, Storgårds was appointed principal guest conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, effective January 2012, succeeding Vassily Sinaisky.
Storgårds received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002. He has made a number of international recordings for Ondine, Sony and BIS Records, including recordings of music by Andrzej Panufnik and John Corigliano. His recording of Pēteris Vasks' Violin Concerto Distant Light and Second Symphony won the Cannes Classical Disc of the Year Award in 2004.
- Michael Tumelty (21 January 2009). "High-flying Finn promises a sizzling SSO debut". The Herald. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- "Autumn Season 2011 Begins New Music Centre Era for the Helsinki Philharmonic" (Press release). Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
- "John Storgårds will extend his contract as Chief Conductor" (Press release). Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. October 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
- Samuli Tiikkaja (2013-10-20). "John Storgårds on orkesterin luottovahti". Helsingin Sanomat. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
- "New Principal Guest Conductor Announced: John Storgårds to succeed Vassily Sinaisky in 2012" (Press release). BBC Philharmonic. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
- Andrew Clements (7 September 2007). "Panufnik: Sinfonia di Sfere; Sinfonia Sacra; etc, Tampere PO/ Storgards". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- Allan Kozinn (12 August 2005). "Adventures Outside the Classical Canon: Pathfinding Composers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- Official website of John Storgårds
- Konzertdirektion Schmid agency biography of Storgårds
- Tampere Philharmonic, Finnish language biography of Storgårds
- Tampere Philharmonic, English language biography of Storgårds
- Helsinki Philharmonic, English-language biography of Storgårds
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|Chief Conductor, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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