Salonen to be Composer in Residence with New York Philharmonic

Salonen to be Composer in Residence with New York Philharmonic
© Benjamin Ealovega
The New York Philharmonic has announced Esa-Pekka Salonen as The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, which is a three year appointment beginning in the 2015–16 season. During his first season the orchestra will perform three of Salonen’s works, including world and New York premieres, and he will conduct concerts during the Philharmonic’s Messiaen Week, as well as advise on new-music programming.

Esa-Pekka Salonen comments:
The New York Philharmonic is an industry leader in terms of how to present classical music, reach new audiences, and enhance the concert experience by collaborating with disciplines such as video, dance, or theatre. I’m very lucky to work with this orchestra during a time that I’m sure will become known as one of its golden periods. I have such great admiration for Alan Gilbert, and he approaches my music in a very insightful way, treating it like he would established masterpieces. I am touched by that, and find it very exciting because I learn new things when a talented colleague conducts my work. As a composer, that is the best possible experience.

Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, says:
I’m very excited that the position of Composer-in-Residence is becoming deeper through the addition of an increased performance presence this season. Esa-Pekka Salonen is a truly compelling composer whose music the orchestra has embraced in the past, and the Philharmonic musicians have responded to his many conducting appearances with commitment and enthusiasm. I can think of no better musician than Esa-Pekka to effect this fusion of composing, conducting, and curating to bring a very contemporary and masterful perspective to what we do.

Matthew VanBesien, President of the New York Philharmonic, comments:
Esa-Pekka Salonen’s residency at the New York Philharmonic is particularly exciting as it marks a collaboration between two of today’s most innovative musical minds. Both Alan and Esa-Pekka have advanced the notion of what an orchestra can be and how it can serve the world of music, both from the podium and in conceiving programs and projects. Alan’s inviting Esa-Pekka to further develop his relationship with the Philharmonic promises a dynamic musical environment for the musicians and audiences alike.

New York Philharmonic Highlights

The Philharmonic’s relationship with Esa-Pekka Salonen began with his conducting debut in 1986 leading the US premiere of Castiglioni’s Sinfonia con giardino in addition to works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Nielsen. Since his 2007 appearance leading the orchestra in the world premiere of his own Piano Concerto — co-commissioned by the Philharmonic and featuring Yefim Bronfman, for whom it was written — he has led the orchestra in 30 performances, including the 2011 three-week Hungarian Echoes festival, the New York concert premiere of his Violin Concerto (2013, with Leila Josefowicz), and his most recent appearance in October 2014 conducting works by Beethoven and Stravinsky. Salonen has already been involved in the Philharmonic’s new-music projects, having hosted An Evening with Esa-Pekka Salonen, the 2013 CONTACT! concert in which Philharmonic musicians performed several of his chamber works. In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts Salonen’s Nyx, the first time that a conductor other than Salonen will lead one of his works with the Philharmonic.

About Esa-Pekka Salonen

A lauded composer and world-renowned conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen has a restless innovation that marks him as one of the most important artists in classical music. Salonen is currently 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. The 2014-2015 season finds him as the first-ever Creative Chair at the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra, which has commissioned a new piece for orchestra and chorus from him and will perform nine other Salonen pieces during the season.

Trained in the austere world of European modernism and enjoying a close relationship with the sunny city of Los Angeles, Salonen composes works that move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Salonen has written several works for symphony orchestra, including Foreign Bodies (2001), Insomnia (2002), and Wing on Wing, which received its world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2004. Salonen’s extensive recording career includes a disc of his orchestral works performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, on which he also conducted; his Piano Concerto (co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic) and Dichotomie, both performed by Yefim Bronfman, and Helix; as well as Out of Nowhere, featuring Leila Josefowicz and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, a collection of Nyx and Salonen’s Violin Concerto, which won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award.

During the 2014-15 season Salonen will make guest conducting appearances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, among others. Throughout their relationship, Salonen and the Philharmonia have curated landmark multi-disciplinary projects, such as the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, which allow members of the public to conduct, play, and step inside the orchestra with Salonen through audio and video projections of musicians in performance. Salonen also drove the development of a much hailed app for iPad,The Orchestra, which allows the user unprecedented access to the internal workings of eight symphonic works. Last spring, he was featured in a television commercial for iPad.

The music of Esa-Pekka Salonen is published exclusively by Chester Music.

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