Salonen Violin Concerto New York premiere

Salonen Violin Concerto New York premiere
The Violin Concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen will receive its New York concert premiere on October 30. Salonen will conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the soloist Leila Josefowicz at Avery Fisher Hall, with four performances following on October 31 and November 1, 2 and 5. The work was commissioned by The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York City Ballet.

The score for the concerto can be previewed online here.

The piece was written in 2009 for Josefowicz and a recording of the concerto is available from Deutsche Grammophon, performed by Josefowicz and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The disc also features the orchestral work Nyx by Salonen. In 2012 the concerto won the University of Louisville's Grawemeyer award for music composition.

The Violin Concerto features on The Orchestra app, also curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen and available to download from The Apple Store.

A listening guide with commentary from Esa-Pekka Salonen can be viewed here


Salonen comments:

‘The initial impulse for writing a concerto for violin was a very inspiring and enjoyable collaboration with Leila Josefowicz on a number of contemporary works in Los Angeles and Chicago. She plays new music with the same kind of dedication and panache others reserve for Brahms, Beethoven and the rest of the gang.

My long and very happy tenure as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic was coming to an end. After 17 years I had decided it was time to move on and try to devote more time for composing. It felt like a seismic shift in my life, and during the composing process of “Violin Concerto” I felt that I was somehow trying to sum up everything I had learned and experienced up to that point in my life as a musician. This sense of having reached a watershed was heightened by the fact that I turned 50, the kind of number that brutally wipes out any hallucinations of still being young.

There is a strong internal, private narrative in my concerto, and it is not a coincidence that the last movement is called "Adieu.” For myself, the strongest symbol of what I was going through is the very last chord of the piece; a new harmonic idea never heard before in the concerto. I saw it as a door to the next part of my life of which I didn't know so much yet, a departure with all the thrills and fears of the unknown.’

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