Total Immersion | Esa-Pekka Salonen | December 10

Total Immersion | Esa-Pekka Salonen | December 10
2017 has been a spectacular year for those interested in the music of Finnish composer and conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Amid plentiful performances around the world of favourites such as Mania, Gambit and Nyx, his latest work, a Cello Concerto for Yo-Yo Ma toured the US and Europe with great reception. Tero Saarinen’s Morphed toured Canada, Saburo Teshigawara’s Grand miroir premiered at the Paris Ballet (both choreographed to music by Salonen) and last month the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra gave an exhilarating performance of LA Variations.

On December 10, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, BBC Singers, Guildhall School of Music Drama, and the Barbican dedicate a day to the best of the Finnish composer’s work in the latest of the Total Immersion series. The BBC-led focus will feature a line up of film, choral music, chamber works, and symphonic repertoire, providing a rare opportunity to hear a range of works from Salonen's prolific career. See below for the full concert listings.

A highlight of the programme is the UK premiere of his 2014 choral symphonic work, Karawane. Written originally for the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, it is based on a text by the same name by Hugo Ball (1886 1927), a German author, poet and one of the leading Dada artists. Karawane is a nonsense sound poem with a unique language triggering associations with a great variety of existing languages without rooting clearly in one specific language. Speaking at a masterclass at the Guildhall earlier this year, Salonen suggested the work might be heard as a ‘ponderous circus caravan, with all its noises, constantly moving but in no time and space, with no destination.’

Find out more and book tickets

Total Immersion | Esa-Pekka Salonen
Barbican Centre | December 10, 2017

11am | Film | Cinema 3

Anti Maestro
A candid portrait of Esa-Pekka Salonen at work conducting his own and other works with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

1pm | Chamber Music | Milton Court
Guildhall Musicians

Dichotomie (Salonen)
Second Meeting (Salonen)
YTA I (Salonen)
Memoria (Salonen)

3pm | Esa-Pekka Salonen in Conversation | Fountain Room

5pm | Choral Music | Milton Court
BBC Singers, Baldur Brönnimann (conductor)

Two Songs from Kalender Röd (Salonen)
Our Joyful’st (Rautavaara)
Dona Nobis Pacem (Salonen)
Missa a Capella (Rautavaara)
Iri da iri (Salonen)

7:30pm | Concert | Main Stage
BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus, Sakari Oramo (conductor), Anu Komsi (soprano), Piia Komsi (soprano), Nicholas Daniel (oboe)

Gambit (Salonen)
Wing on Wing (Salonen)
Mimo II (Salonen)
Karawane - UK premiere (Salonen)

Salonen on stage | Obsidian Tear

Wayne McGregor’s Obsidian Tear, set to Salonen’s music in 2016, returns to the Royal Opera House from April 14 to May 11 2018. Inspired by the brooding symphonic poem Nyx and Salonen’s virtuoso violin solo Lachen verlernt, McGregor explores the tribal behaviour of an all-male group.

More information

Salonen Scores Online

Salonen's work combines intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. If you would like to find out more about his music or if you are interested in programming his work, email us at

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