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.
“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.”
You were wrong then, and you’re wrong now. He’s not leaving California, he’s staying. What he’s doing is what he’s said openly for several years that he would do–leave the podium to concentrate on composing. Get a grip.
Hello? Anybody home? How many times does E-P have to say he’s leaving the LA Phil for people to believe him? Neat touch, though, to leave just as the NY Phil comes free.
Mr. L., you’re wrong. Commenter “Huh?” is correct. According to the L.A. Times, E-P S is stepping down from the LA Phil, but not leaving California. Awaiting your correction!
NL: And what makes you think the LA Times is right?
Anyway, where he lives is irrelevant. He’s leaving the job, which I predicted accurately and the LA Times did not.
I’m reminded of the old broken kettle joke…
Sorry, next time I’ll respond to what you meant to say instead of what you said. Unfortunately, your column’s larger point–that the average American conductor is now “pushing 70” (already false)–is even more inaccurate now that Salonen has stepped down in favor of 26-year-old Dudamel.
NL replies: Not inaccurate, nor even inconsistent. Read