Taking a bow at the San Francisco Symphony’s world premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Piano Concerto No. 2, from left: Esa-Pekka Salonen, Emanuel Ax, and Anders Hillborg. Photo by Brandon Patoc.

In Friday’s (10/13) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “ The new piano concerto by the Swedish composer Anders Hillborg is vivacious, funny, heroic, eloquent, plain-spoken, thoughtful and wholly irresistible. It serves, in other words, as a musical portrait of pianist Emanuel Ax, who joined the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen in Davies Symphony Hall Thursday, Oct. 12, to give the piece its triumphant world premiere. Composers often talk about what it means to write with a particular performer in mind, but this 25-minute charmer, commissioned by the Symphony… plays to all the qualities that make Ax one of the finest … pianists of our time … At the same time, the concerto opens up a world of beauty and entertainment … The piece is in a single movement played without pause, but within that stretch of music there are no fewer than nine distinct sections, each with its own character and dimension….  Hillborg (whose ‘Rap Notes’ helped open the Symphony season) writes with a generous, expressive touch…. Salonen and the orchestra flanked [the premiere] with superb performances of familiar music by Brahms and Beethoven.”