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Esa-Pekka Salonen

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Finnish conductor and composer, born in 1958. Following his studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the 1979 debut, he still considered himself primarily as a composer. This changed in 1973, when the immensely successful concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London (with Mahler's Symphony no. 3) began his international career. In the following years, he collaborated with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. In 1984 he lead the first concert with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, which he later directed in the years 1992-2009. He presently leads the Philharmonia Orchestra. Contemporary music holds a privileged place in his repertoire, combined with the classics of the twentieth century, but without the neglect of earlier musical periods.

The artist is a great enthusiast of both the person and the music of Witold Lutosławski. His immensely expressive interpretations of the Polish composer are characterized by a transparency of texture, sensitivity for colour, and clarity of form. His repertoire holds many compositions by Lutosławski, and he recorded works such as the Concerto for Orchestra, the Cello Concerto, Symphonies nos. 2, 3, and 4, and vocal works. In 2006 he was decorated with the medal of the Witold Lutosławski Society "For considerable work in the familiarization of the public with Witold Lutosławski's oeuvre".

For the Lutosławski Centennial the conductor has planned choice programs, bringing together the works of the Polish composer with those of Debussy, Ravel, and Beethoven. He will lead the Philharmonia Orchestra in a series of concerts in London, and will also appear in Warsaw, Spain, and Japan. In addition, along with Krystian Zimerman he will inaugurate the celebrations of the composer's birthday at London's Royal Festival Hall.

kt / trans. mk