Alan Gilbert has a thing for Finns.
Magnus Lindberg was his first composer in residence. Now he has chosen a fellow-conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Will New York warm to the former LA Phil music director? Does his music warrant the extra attention?
Here’s what the musicians think.
And the man himself.
The New York Philharmonic announced today that Esa-Pekka Salonen will be The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence for the 2015-16, 2016–17, and 2017-18 seasons. The residency opens in the fall of 2015 with music director Alan Gilbert conducting the New York premiere of Salonen’s LA Variations, which Salonen wrote when he was the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. LA Variations has since become a modern classic played by orchestras around the globe. In the spring of 2016, Gilbert will conduct the New York premiere of Salonen’s latest composition, Karawane, for orchestra and chorus, which was co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and premiered in Zurich in fall 2014.
Additionally, Salonen will lead the Philharmonic in Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie(with pianist Yuja Wang), the centerpiece of the Philharmonic’s Messiaen Week. An evening at SubCulture as part of CONTACT!, the Philharmonic’s new-music series, will be curated by Salonen; he will serve as advisor for CONTACT!, and he will co-curate the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL with Alan Gilbert, where a new Salonen orchestral work, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, will also be performed. Salonen’s LA Variations will be performed during the first of annual residencies by the Philharmonic with the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan taking place in October 2015, and selections from Karawane will be performed at a Young People’s Concert.