Maestro stays: Esa-Pekka is happy where he is

Maestro stays: Esa-Pekka is happy where he is


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2017

He could have been music director of the New York Philharmonic, if only Matthew VanBesien had offered him the job after fuelling speculation in the local media.

But Esa-Pekka Salonen, coming up for 60, has now reached ten years as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor with the Philharmonia in London and he’s not going anywhere soon. His new deal is ‘a rolling (evergreen) contract’, which usually means that the two parties walk on together, hand in hand into the unseen.

Esa-Pekka Salonen said: This is my tenth season as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, but it’s also something like the 34th year for me appearing with them as a conductor. In 1983, I took over a programme from Michael Tilson Thomas on short notice. I flew to London from Helsinki stepped onto the podium in front of the Philharmonia and was astonished by the warmth and flexibility I received from the players; I’ll never forget that.

It’s fun to look back, but better to look forward: this is a remarkable orchestra, and I’m honoured and excited to be part of it as we push into the 21st century together.


  • Olassus says:

    I can’t believe they’re not BORED with him.

    How’s his Mozart these days … ?

  • herrera says:

    Who says New Yorkers want him?

  • Steinway Fanatic says:

    As everyone knows, if Matthew van Besien had asked Salonen to take the NY Philharmonic music director position, Salonen would have said “NO!” He never wanted it, and he certainly doesn’t need it.

  • John says:

    Always fun to read the insignificant sniping from the as-usual-know-it-all peanut gallery.

    • Steven Holloway says:

      True. Rather a lot of trollish characters on here, are there not? Of course, if NL decides to venture into politics, one might as well re-name the blog ‘Slippery Trolls’.

  • Graeme Hall says:

    In a crappy world this is by far the best news in a long long time!

  • David Briggs says:

    Such a great conductor, and (in my humble opinion) the greatest living composer. I listen to his compositions most days.