Esa-Pekka Salonen

b. 1958

Finnish

Summary

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is known as both a composer and conductor and is currently the Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor for the Philharmonia Orchestra. He is the Music Director Designate of the San Francisco Symphony; the 2020-21 season will be his first as Music Director. He is the Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. He recently joined the faculty of LA's Colburn School, where he leads the Negaunee Conducting Program. He is the Conductor Laureate for both the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. Salonen co-founded the annual Baltic Sea festival, serving as Artistic Director from 2003 to 2018.

In 2019-20 Salonen takes the Philharmonia Orchestra on tour across Europe and Asia and completes Weimar Berlin: Bittersweet Metropolis, a series celebrating Weimar-era German composers such as Weill, Hindemith, and Berg. He also begins his first Ring cycle with the Finnish National Opera, conducting Das Rheingold in the fall and Die Walküre in the spring. In February, he conducts two weeks of programming with the San Francisco Symphony, where he will begin as music director in fall 2020. Recent years have seen Salonen experiment with groundbreaking ways to present music, with the first major virtual-reality production from a UK symphony orchestra; the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, and the much-hailed iPad app, The Orchestra. His Violin Concerto, which won the Grawemeyer Award, was featured in a 2014 international Apple ad campaign for iPad.

Also this season, eleven of Salonen’s works are programmed around the world. Among them are Nyx, at the Aspen Music Festival; his Piano and Violin Concertos, at the Philharmonic Orchestra of Hradec Králové and Santa Cruz Symphony, respectively; and his Cello Concerto, at the SWR Symphonieorchester and Tampere Philharmonic. Salonen conducts his own Cello Concerto on tour with the Philharmonia, with Truls Mørk as soloist, as well as his Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony, with original soloist Leila Josefowicz. He conducts his new piece Castor in its world premiere with the LA and New York philharmonics, alongside its 2018 companion piece, Pollux.

As the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 17 years, Salonen is widely credited with revitalizing the organization. He was instrumental in helping the orchestra open Walt Disney Concert Hall; presided over countless premieres of contemporary work; began the Esa-Pekka Salonen Commissions Fund, and made the orchestra one of the best-attended and funded in the USA. This season, Salonen will bring his Weimar programming to the LA Phil, conducting works by Hindemith, Weill, and Schoenberg.

Salonen has an extensive and varied recording career. An album of Henri Dutilleux’s Correspondances, recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in the presence of the composer, was released in 2013 by Deutsche Grammophon on the composer’s 97th birthday. Also that year, Sony completed a project that he began with the LA Phil nearly 30 years before: a two-disc set of the orchestral works of Witold Lutosławski, released in the composer’s 100th year. Salonen’s most recent recordings include a release of his Cello Concerto with Yo-Yo Ma, released by Sony, a disc of Stravinsky’s Persephone, released by Pentatone Music, and a 61-disc box set of all Salonen’s recordings for Sony.


esapekkasalonen.com
@esapekkasalonen
www.facebook.com/esapekkasalonen

Management by Fidelio Arts: fidelioarts.com
Public Relations by First Chair Promotion: firstchairpromo.com
Publishing by Chester Music Ltd
(As of August 23, 2017)
Critical Acclaim
One of the most powerful figures in the global classical music industry. — The Financial Times
Salonen is a skillful dramatist who masters the sustained tension in such a way that even his colleagues from the movie industry must be peering in wonder at this Finn.— Manfred Müller, Kölnische Rundschau

Salonen the composer is much like Salonen the conductor. There's tremendous technique, intellect, charm and musicality there, but also an emotional diffidence.— Richard Morrison, The Times

Salonen’s recent orchestral scores have an assertive, luminous tonal confidence that seems to state ‘problem solved’ – even if it does so in kaleidoscopically rich colours.— Martin Anderson, Tempo

Biography

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is known as both a composer and conductor and is currently the Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. He is the Music Director Designate of the San Francisco Symphony; the 2020-21 season will be his first as Music Director. He is Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. He recently joined the faculty of LA's Colburn School, where he developed, leads, and directs the pre-professional Negaunee Conducting Program. He is the Conductor Laureate for both the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. Salonen co-founded—and from 2003 until 2018 served as the Artistic Director for—the annual Baltic Sea Festival, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.

In 2019-20, Salonen conducts the Philharmonia at the Southbank Centre, at the BBC Proms, and on tour across Europe and Asia. This fall he will complete Weimar Berlin: Bittersweet Metropolis, a program celebrating Weimar-era German composers such as Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, and Alban Berg. Salonen will also begin his first Ring cycle with the Finnish National Opera, conducting Das Rheingold and Die Walküre this season. In February 2020, Salonen conducts two weeks of concerts with the San Francisco Symphony.

The breadth of Salonen's compositions is on display, with eleven works programmed around the world. These include Sisar, for solo piano, performed by Yefim Bronfman, Concert Étude for solo horn, performed by Ben Goldscheider, Floof and Five Images after Sappho for soprano and chamber ensemble, and major orchestral works Nyx, Stockholm Diary, and Pollux. His Piano and Violin Concertos are programmed at the Philharmonic Orchestra of Hradec Králové and Santa Cruz Symphony, respectively; and his Cello Concerto, at the SWR Symphonieorchester and Tampere Philharmonic. Salonen conducts his new piece Castor in its world premiere with the LA and New York philharmonics, alongside its 2018 companion piece, Pollux. He also conducts his own Cello Concerto on tour with the Philharmonia, with Truls Mørk as soloist, as well as his Violin Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony, with Leila Josefowicz as soloist. The Violin Concerto, which won the Grawemeyer Award, was featured in a 2014 international Apple ad campaign for iPad.

As Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for seventeen years, Salonen is widely credited with revitalizing the organization. He was instrumental in helping the orchestra open Walt Disney Concert Hall; presided over countless premieres of contemporary works; began the Esa-Pekka Salonen Commissions Fund, and made the orchestra one of the best-attended and funded in the country. This season he brings his Weimar program to the LA Phil, conducting a program of works by Hindemith, Weill, and Schoenberg.

In recent years, Salonen has experimented with groundbreaking ways to present music, with the first major virtual-reality production from a UK symphony orchestra; the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, which have allowed people all over the world to conduct, play, and step inside the orchestra through audio and video projections, and the much-hailed app for iPad, The Orchestra, which allows the user unprecedented access to the internal workings of eight symphonic compositions. In 2015 he addressed the Apple Distinguished Educator conference on the uses of technology in music education.

Salonen has an extensive and varied recording career. An album of Henri Dutilleux's Correspondances, recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in the presence of the composer, was released in 2013 by Deutsche Grammophon on the composer’s 97th birthday. That year, Sony completed a project that began with Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic nearly 30 years before: a two-disc set of the orchestral works of Witold Lutosławski, released in what would have been the composer’s 100th year. An album of five of his orchestral works is available on Sony. Deutsche Grammophon has released a portrait CD of Salonen’s orchestral works performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conducted by the composer, as well as a CD with Salonen's Piano Concerto and his works Helix and Dichotomie. In 2018, Pentatone Music released Salonen’s take on Stravinsky’s Persephone, featuring Andrew Staples, Pauline Cheviller, and the Finnish National Opera’s chorus, children’s chorus, and orchestra. Also in 2018, Sony released a box set of all of Salonen's recordings for them—a grand total of 61 discs. In 2019, Salonen released a recording of his Cello Concerto on Sony, performed by Yo-Yo Ma and the LA Phil.

Salonen is the recipient of many major awards, including the UNESCO Rostrum Prize for his work Floof in 1992 and the Siena Prize, given by the Accademia Chigiana, in 1993; he is the first conductor to receive it. In 1995 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society's Opera Award and two years later, its Conductor Award. Salonen was awarded the Litteris et Artibus medal, one of Sweden's highest honours, by the King of Sweden in 1996. In 1998 the French government awarded him the rank of Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Salonen was also honored with the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland and the Helsinki Medal. Most recently he was honored with the 2014 Nemmers Composition Prize, which included a residency at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. To date, Salonen has received seven honorary doctorates in four different countries. Musical America named him its Musician of the Year in 2006, and he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010.


esapekkasalonen.com
@esapekkasalonen
www.facebook.com/esapekkasalonen

Management by Fidelio Arts: fidelioarts.com
Public Relations by First Chair Promotion: firstchairpromo.com
Publishing by Chester Music Ltd
(As of August 23, 2017)

News

Performances

4th May 2020

PERFORMERS
NHK Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Robert Spano
LOCATION
Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall / Tokyo / Japan

8th May 2020

PERFORMERS
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Lionel Bringuier
LOCATION
Orchestra Hall / Detroit, MI / United States

9th May 2020

PERFORMERS
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Lionel Bringuier
LOCATION
Orchestra Hall / Detroit, MI / United States

10th May 2020

PERFORMERS
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Lionel Bringuier
LOCATION
Orchestra Hall / Detroit, MI / United States

14th May 2020

SOLOISTS
Torleif Thedéen, cello
PERFORMERS
tampere Filharmonia
CONDUCTOR
Anja Bihlmaier
LOCATION
Tampere Hall / Iso sali / Finland

Photos

Discography