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.