“The San Francisco Symphony’s surprise announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 5, naming Esa-Pekka Salonen—among the world’s most renowned and inventive conductors—as its next music director is bound to emerge as one of the most consequential cultural developments to hit the Bay Area in decades,” writes Joshua Kosman in Thursday’s (12/6) San Francisco Chronicle. “The 60-year-old Finnish musician’s arrival in 2020 to succeed Michael Tilson Thomas promises to be an exciting development on every conceivable front…. Finding out exactly what that means—what combination of high-tech razzle-dazzle, multidisciplinary collaboration, tweaked visual design and good old-fashioned orchestral execution will put a truly contemporary face on this undertaking—promises to be one of the great adventures of the coming years…. ‘My idea was that I would gather a group of younger people from various fields who would help me and the organization in curating new projects and finding new ways to integrate with the community,’ [said Salonen]…. The eight who have signed on for this initiative include soprano Julia Bullock, composer Nico Muhly, bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding and flutist Claire Chase—all creative figures with a demonstrated interest, like Salonen’s, in challenging received wisdom on artistic matters.”

Posted December 10, 2018