The Finnish music director will leave the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2021 after 13 years as principal conductor, it was announced this afternoon.
Esa-Pekka Salonen said: ‘I have been unbelievably fortunate to conduct the great orchestras of the globe: a simultaneously inspiring and humbling part of my night job. Though since my debut 35 years ago – surprising no one more than me – and in my 10 years as Principal Conductor, I find myself returning again and again to the Philharmonia.
‘This is a group that juxtaposes world-class talent and star-power with an ease of musical communication, personal warmth, real risk-taking on stage and off, and always good humour. The open-mindedness and confidence with which they supported me at my debut was a masterclass in how we should all treat each other musically and beyond. This and our on-going collaboration is in no small part why I became a conductor at all, and why I still enjoy the complex but ultimately very inspiring human interaction that we call conducting. I do not say lightly that they are family, and I am honoured to be a part of what will be their fantastic future.’