Esa-Pekka receives British knighthood

Esa-Pekka receives British knighthood


norman lebrecht

December 21, 2020

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second has awarded an honorary knighthood to Esa-Pekka Salonen ‘for services to music and UK-Finland relations’. The honour marks his final season as music director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, which has Prince Charles as its patron.

Esa-Pekka said: ‘This is a true personal honour, but more than that, it is meaningful to have artists honoured at a national—at a historical—level. It shows an appreciation of art-making as a necessary part of society. A recognition that culture is who we are, not just what we do. I am grateful for my time in London and throughout the UK with the Philharmonia Orchestra. I share this with them.’



  • Gustavo says:

    Didn’t know he was a nationalist.

    • Tex Willer says:

      What kind of advantages he will have? Free bus rides in the London city? Can he assist in fox hunting and off-shore tax haven practices with other injustice warriors?

  • Edgar Self says:

    Well-deserved congratulations to the hard-working, gifted, and astonishingly youthful Esa-Pekka Salonen. He may be the first Finn to be so honoured.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      But should not be the last. Finland punches above its weight, in classical music and beyond.

      • Maria says:

        Not the last if they do something great for Britain and good Finnish relations woth the United Kingdom. It’s not for services to classical music, otherwise everyon would be Knighted, but services to Britain that happens to be through classical music. He is not only a very talented conductor and musician; he is also generous and a very decent and well liked person in Britain. .

        • Jimbo says:

          Well liked person in Britain? What’s the evidence for such a statement? I’d suggest most British people have never ever heard of him.
          Awards are like haemorrhoids… sooner or later someone gets them.

      • henry williams says:

        also they have 4 . formula 1 motor racing world champions.
        the fins have talent

    • Jean says:

      Not the first one, but the first non-politician. Congrats to Esa-Pekka!

  • Robin Bloxsidge says:

    Well deserved, but if he’s Finnish I am afraid he cannot actually use the title.

    • Novagerio says:

      Robin: He is now a KBE (Knight of the British Empire), like Haitink, Barenboim, Muti, Previn, Rostropovich, Plácido Domingo, Antal Dorati, Yehudi Menuhin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Alfred Brendel, Paderewski and Ravi Shankar.

  • Gustavo says:

    Sir Jorma Panula

  • Tex Willer says:

    In the finnish national media the news was: E-P was awarded British imperial medal by the queen. When I tried to comment (about negative aspects of the empire in the history of the mankind, the comment was blocked and never published). The finns should not be bootlickers of white supremacy imperialistists what that name of the medal de facto represents. But what can you do? The normalcy is white middle class bourgeois normalcy that has very little to do with majority of the people living in this Planet..

    • G.Rind. says:

      I can’t think why they never published your last comment

      • Tex Willer says:

        However, E-P has himself expressed his concern about hypothetical tragedies. :”I feel very priviledged to have this job and opportunity.” He was thinking about Los Angeles homeless for instance, and the people all over the world who never have such chances. Fair? Salonen agrees with me.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Oh dear, another Social Justice Warrior waxing lyrical about “white supremacy.” When you reach puberty Tex, come back and we will explain all that “white folk” have contributed to culture, politics, law, etc etc. Perhaps in the meantime you would outline the atrocities committed by the Islamic and Ottoman empires for starters, then we can move on to the Mongols and one or two others that fall outside your “white supremacy imperialist” groups.

    • Nik says:

      Is “Tex Willer” the new pseudonym of Andrew Doyle, the creator of “Titania McGrath”? You sound very much like her.

    • Norbert says:

      @ Tex.

      Have you ever seen a film starring Peter Sellers, titled “I’m alright Jack…..”

      All I can hear is Peter;s marvellous accent in that film when reading your comment.

      • Tex Willer says:

        ”I don`t wanna live in Finland anymore,
        this is a land of nazi pigs
        I don`t need no pop stars shows
        or idols to get my kicks
        Take me where people dare
        To live and love without hate
        And equal rights and everybody fights
        for the communist state:

        Back in the DDR
        where everybody is a star
        and Trabant is my car
        Back in the DDR

        Back in the DDR
        Don`t leave me in this bar
        Take me where you are
        Back in the DDR”

        Kari Peitsamo

    • Paul Brownsey says:

      What it *represents* and where the name of it came from are different things. You muddle them/ Try to see *through* words; don’t get hung up on them.

  • Greta Beigel says:

    The years were golden when Salonen helmed the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He transformed the orchestra.

  • Karol Jozef Lipinski says:

    Why are conductors knighted but rarely instrumentalists?

  • He is an inspiration.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Placido Domingo was also awarded an honorary knighthood. Given to him by Jack Straw at the British Embassy in Washington DC,

  • M2N2K says:

    He may just be the most intelligent and erudite conductor I have ever encountered, and I have personally known and have worked with a huge number of them since my student days in 1970s and during more than four decades of my professional life.