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Esa-Pekka Salonen

Born: 1958

Nationality: Finnish

Publisher: Chester Music

Photo © Katja Tähjä


A lauded composer and 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 2014/15 season finds him as the first-ever Creative Chair at the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra.

Salonen opened the 2014/15 season with a performance of Berlioz’s Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra, tours extensively in Europe and Japan with the Philharmonia, and leads the City of Light: Paris 1900-1950 series as the thematic focus of the season. 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 Philharmonia Orchestra with Salonen through audio and video projections. 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. This season, Salonen will also make guest appearances with the Bavarian and Finnish radio symphony orchestras, Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Salonen composes works that move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Salonen has written several pieces for symphony orchestra, including Foreign Bodies (2001), Insomnia (2002), Wing on Wing (2004), and Nyx (2011), as well as two concertos: the first in 2007 for pianist Yefim Bronfman and the second in 2009 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 September 2014, the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra premiered Karawane, Salonen's large-scale work for orchestra and chorus, to great acclaim.

Esa-Pekka Salonen's extensive recording career includes a disc of his orchestral works performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, which he also conducted, as well as one of his Piano Concerto and his works Helix and Dichotomie. 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 on Deutsche Grammophon on the composer’s 97th birthday. In 2012 Salonen recorded Saariaho’s Passion De Simone with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Dawn Upshaw. That year also saw the release of the first-ever recording of Shostakovich's previously undiscovered opera prologue, Orango, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the release of Out of Nowhere, featuring Leila Josefowicz and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra performing Salonen's Violin Concerto and Nyx. He recently completed a 30-year project with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to record all four symphonies of his friend and mentor, Witold Lutosławski.

Esa-Pekka Salonen is the star of the recently released app The Orchestra created in conjunction with Touch Press and the Philharmonia Orchestra. For more information on The Orchestra App, click here
 


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