In Sunday’s (4/12) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed profiles Esa-Pekka Salonen, who is concluding his 17-year tenure as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic: “The Esa-Pekka Salonen who will conduct his last concert as the Los Angeles Philharmonic music director next Sunday afternoon is an open, communicative, imaginative artist—among the most beloved of our town and time. His funny name is, here, a household name. His image is an iconic L.A. image that has been plastered on billboards, east side and west, for years. And he is widely hailed as having produced the most successful model anywhere for making a traditional symphonic orchestra an accessible part of a modern city’s fabric. … He has changed us meaningfully, and we have changed him meaningfully. … Salonen bonded and collaborated with other artists who had found their language on the West Coast—composer John Adams, director Peter Sellars, video artist Bill Viola and architect Frank Gehry—and his horizons broadened vastly. … On Thursday, Salonen premiered his Violin Concerto, finished only days earlier. ‘Hooray for freedom of expression. And thank you, guys!’ he writes to his audience in his program note. Disney Hall was full, and the cheers for the concerto were rapturous.”

Posted April 13, 2009

Photo Credit: Mathew Imaging