Salonen takes LA job

Salonen takes LA job


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2018

The Finnish conductor, presently occupied with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and a Ring cycle in Helsinki, has taken an extra job in his home town, Los Angeles.

Esa-Pekka, 60 will join the Colburn School faculty to develop and direct a pre-professional conducting programme acros the road from the LA Phil, where he used to be music director.

His students, known as Salonen Fellows, will receive full scholarships to cover tuition, room, and board at Colburn, along with personal mentoring in maestro moves.

‘It’s been a long-term hope of mine to develop something that offers hands-on experience for young conductors. What makes this special is the collaboration between the Philharmonia and the School, bridging the gap from Conservatory to professional music-making,’ says E-P.


  • Suzanne says:

    between Colburn and the LA Phil or between Colburn and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London? Can you clarify, Norman?

  • Bruce says:

    “… his home town, Los Angeles”??

  • Phillip Ayling says:

    As an LA native this is so interesting. During the latter part of his stewardship at the LA Phil, Salonen was not shy about whining publicly…he didn’t want to conduct anymore at all, he wasn’t getting enough opportunity to compose; the type of music he liked was different that the type of music he felt compelled to program for LA audiences; the commercial composers and film industry weren’t supportive enough; LA was soooo not European culturally, etc.,etc.,

    Not it will be a dream come true to hold court with aspiring young composers at the Colburn Cafeteria.

    • william osborne says:

      I wasn’t aware of any such “whining” by Esa-Pekka, but we desperately need prominent musicians to speak out about the dismal social, economic, and artistic conditions classical music faces in the USA even if it annoys people in our dysfunctional political landscape.

      Even if Esa-Pekka is able to establish a good program for training conductors (something rare in the USA,) they will still not have a cultural infrastructure to support their development like the Europeans have. Without that infrastructure, Europeans will continue to hold an inordinate number of the major conducting positions in the USA.

    • Gary says:

      His programming for LA audiences was hardly conservative.

    • Hilary says:

      The LA Variations suggests he has a fondness for the city. Note the way it begins with a quotation from the opening of Sibelius 4 and moves to a lighter ( dare I say , superficial) manner to evoke LA? An ideal pairing would be with Schoneberg op.31.

  • Sue says:

    A handsome dude and an excellent conductor.

    • Davr says:

      Spot on. Just heard him conduct Bruckner 7. Awesome. He’s always looked much younger than his years. Handsome indeed

    • Jack says:

      Just got back from hearing him conduct Wagner (Prelude & Liebestod from Tristan), Schoenberg (Verklaerte Nacht) and Bruckner (4th Symphony) with the Royal Philharmonic in Paris. Overwhelming and truly great concert.