Esa-Pekka Salonen is best known for his fruitful 17-year tenure as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, now led by Gustavo Dudamel. Together, with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, Salonen is credited with putting the West Coast on the classical music map in an entirely new way. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the conductor will return to LA's Disney Hall later this year.
After 17 years molding the Los Angeles Philharmonic into one of the smartest and most adventurous U.S. orchestras, music director Esa-Pekka Salonen called it quits in 2009. Among his reasons for leaving the ensemble was to devote more time to composing.
David Patrick Stearns profiles acclaimed Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. As a composer, Salonen is quoted saying "Musical expression is bodily expression, there is no abstract cerebral expression in my opinion. It all comes out of the body." As a conductor he has simply stated that the primary reason he took up conducting was to ensure that someone would conduct his own compositions. He is currently principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.