Esa-Pekka Salonen

As both a lauded composer and a world-renowned conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen has a restless innovation that marks him as one of the most important artists in classical music. TheBoston Globe has said that he displays "a kind of complete musicianship rarely encountered today.” Salonen 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 2014-15 season will find 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 throughout the season. His Floof and LA Variations have become established modern classics, and new compositions continue to be performed around the globe.

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. Three major retrospectives of Salonen's original work have been heard by capacity audiences and received critical acclaim: at Festival Présences Paris in 2011, at the Stockholm International Composer Festival in 2004, and at Musica Nova, Helsinki in 2003. Salonen has written many works for symphony orchestra, including Foreign Bodies (2001), commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Insomnia (2002), co-commissioned by Suntory Hall, Tokyo, and Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg, and Wing on Wing, which received its world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2004 and was a gift from the composer to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in honor of their new home. In 2007 Salonen conducted the New York Philharmonic in the first performance of his Piano Concerto, dedicated to Yefim Bronfman, who also premiered it. Salonen’s Violin Concerto, which premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Leila Josefowicz in 2009, won the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition and was released along with Salonen’s Nyx on Deutsche Grammophon in 2012.