On Thursday, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, 37 conducted the New York Philharmonic “with crisply elfin spirit as one of the leading candidates to take over when Jaap van Zweden, 62, leaves at the end of next season,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Friday’s (1/7) New York Times.  “Rouvali faces steep competition — not least from Gustavo Dudamel, 41 … Rouvali is the only Philharmonic guest conductor this season to get two weeks of concerts. After the current program of works by Rossini, Magnus Lindberg and Beethoven, he leads music by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Prokofiev and … Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ … Each of those programs includes a new work co-commissioned by the Philharmonic: Thorvaldsdottir’s ‘Catamorphosis’ and Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 3 … with … Yuja Wang as soloist. On Thursday at David Geffen Hall, Rouvali … was a calm and lucid guide through the [Lindberg] piece — which came off, however, as billowy and somewhat baggy…. In Beethoven’s Second Symphony … Rouvali … was superb, with his deliberate, even careful conducting yielding a graceful, stylish interpretation.”