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Performer: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen © Clive Barda
Esa-Pekka Salonen
© Clive Barda

Esa-Pekka Salonen has a restless innovation that marks him as one of the most important artists in classical music. Salonen is the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. This season will find him as the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, a three-year position. He is Artistic Director and cofounder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Salonen takes the Philharmonia Orchestra to the Edinburgh International Festival, the BBC Proms, on tour in Switzerland and France, and will lead the “Myths and Rituals” festival, an exploration of Stravinsky's work that continues into next season. He will make guest appearances with the North German and Bavarian radio symphony orchestras; the New York, Vienna, and Los Angeles philharmonics; the Orchestre de Paris, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in addition to conducting Strauss's Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera, and Bartók's Le Château de Barbe-Bleue and Poulenc's La Voix Humaine at the Paris Opera.

Salonen's work combines intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. His pieces for symphony orchestra include LA Variations (1996), Foreign Bodies (2001), Insomnia (2002), Wing on Wing (2004), and Nyx (2011), as well as two concertos: for pianist Yefim Bronfman and for violinist Leila Josefowicz. The latter was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award and was featured in a 2014 international Apple ad campaign for iPad. In 2014 the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra, where he was the first-ever Creative Chair, premiered Karawane for orchestra and chorus, to great acclaim. Karawane will be performed this season by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic. 

Salonen and the Philharmonia have curated landmark multi-disciplinary projects, such as the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, which allow the public to conduct, play, and step inside the Philharmonia with Salonen through audio and video projections. Salonen also drove the development of an app for iPad, The Orchestra, which allows the user unprecedented access to the internal workings of eight symphonic works. 

(As of August 3, 2015)


Upcoming eventsSee more...

New York CitySalonen, Bach and Hindemith

Bach, Salonen, Hindemith
New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen

LeicesterSalonen conducts The Firebird

© Camilla Greenwell
Strauss R., Sibelius, Stravinsky
Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen; Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay

LondonHorn Calls

© Camilla Greenwell
Weber, Turnage, Britten, Strauss R.
Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen; Richard Watkins; Allan Clayton

LondonVoices of 1945

© Camilla Greenwell
Vaughan Williams, Strauss R., Stravinsky
Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen; Tom Blomfield

Los AngelesThe Weimar Republic: Germany 1918-1933 Weill's Violin concerto with Salonen

Hindemith, Weill, Bach
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen; Carolin Widmann
Latest reviewsSee more...

Stirring conclusion to the Philharmonia’s sojourn in Weimar-era Berlin

Esa-Pekka Salonen © Clive Barda

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s Weimar Berlin series came to an end with a fascinating programme of the familiar and unfamiliar.

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Definitive Berg from Tetzlaff with Salonen and the Philharmonia

Christian Tetzlaff © Giorgia Bertazzi
As part of Philharmonia’s the Bittersweet Metropolis strand focusing on the music and culture of Germany in the interwar years, Esa-Pekka Salonen curated an interesting group of works designed to paint a picture of the more serious end of the music world in Berlin.
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Berlin im Licht: Philharmonia sheds light on the cabaret scene

Dagmar Manzel © Belinda Lawley

Despite engaging vocal performances and vivid orchestral playing, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s exploration of Weimar-era Berlin’s cabaret world added up to less than the sum of its parts.

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Salonen's Helsinki Rheingold celebrates Finnish vocal talent

Jukka Rasilainen (Alberich) © Ralph Larmann
For any opera house, the production of a new Wagner Ring cycle is a huge undertaking and becomes a mission statement. For Finnish National Opera, its mission is to stage an all-Finnish Ring.
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Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Rheingold: a Finnish tour de force

Tommi Hakala © Arne Hyckenberg
In an unusually convincing concert performance, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Finnish National Opera emphasised the lyrical aspects of Wagner's Das Rheingold.
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