April 10, 2007 by Norman Lebrecht
Some months ago, I reported that Esa-Pekka Salonen was joining London’s Philharmonia Orchestra as music director and, in doing so, was preparing to leave California. A volley of denials – from the Los Angeles PO, from Salonen himself and from a host of commentators who presumed to know better.
I response to one pained email from a respected LAPO figurehead, I promised to redress any error when an appropriate opportunity arose.
Well, it has now. Salonen and the LAPO announced this weekend that he’s quitting in 2009, handing over to young Gus Dudamel. So was there any error in my original assertion? The facts speak for themselves.
How did I know E-P was going to leave? I was privy to a line of internal communications which indicated that he was getting itchy. I can say no more to protect sources, but those of you who read my weekly column should know I never speculate. What you read is built on rock-hard evidence.
Which reminds me that Tessa Jowell, our revered Culture Secretary, recently dismissed as ‘rubbish’ my report that there is a paper circulating in her department advocating the abolition of English National Opera. Well, I know what I have seen. When, a year from now, arts victims are lined up to pay for the 2012 Olympics, don’t be surprised to find ENO top of the altar.
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