Esa-Pekka Salonen’s is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. The 2015-16 season is his second of three as the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, and his first of five years as Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. Additionally, Salonen is Artistic Director and cofounder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, now in its fourteenth year, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.
This 2015-16 season Esa-Pekka Salonen takes the Philharmonia to the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where they perform Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, directed by Katie Mitchell, and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex in a new staging by Peter Sellars; the BBC Proms, and on tour in France, Spain, and the United States. Esa-Pekka Salonen continues to lead the Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals festival in London, which was met with great popular and critical acclaim last season. He also conducts the premieres of a piano concerto by Icelandic composer Haukur Tómasson with the NDR Symphony Orchestra during their opening weeks at the new Elbphilharmonie and a newconcerto for four horns by English composer Tansy Davies with the Philharmonia.
In addition he conducts the horn concerto at the New York Philharmonic, with whom he performs a celebration of the music of his friend and long-time colleague Kaija Saariaho. At Carnegie Hall this spring Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts three concerts with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, whom he led in Strauss’s Elektra, one of the most critically-praised productions of the Met’s 2015-16 season.
Salonen’s compositions for symphony orchestra include Giro (1982), LA Variations (1996), Foreign Bodies (2001), Insomnia (2002), and Nyx (2011), as well as two concertos for pianist Yefim Bronfman and 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 2014 the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra, where he was the first-ever Creative Chair, premiered Karawane for orchestra and chorus. This season, the New York Philharmonic performs Salonen’s new cello concerto for Yo-Yo Ma and give the New York Premiere of his Wing on Wing, which was written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s inaugural season at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. The cello concerto will also be performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Salonen, and again with the New York Philharmonic at the Barbican Centre in London.
Salonen and the Philharmonia continue their groundbreaking experimentation with how to present music with a digital takeover of the Southbank Centre, featuring the first major virtual-reality production from a UK symphony orchestra, as well as the Philharmonia’s 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. 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.
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