Esa-Pekka Salonen

Biography

Esa-Pekka Salonen

The composer – and Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra – is always at the cutting-edge of new technology.

  • Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland on 30 June 1958.
  • He studied horn, conducting and composition at the Sibelius Academy.
  • His career was launched in 1983 when he replaced an indisposed Michael Tilson Thomas at short notice to conduct Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the Philharmonia in London. He had never previously studied the score.
  • He was principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia from 1985 to 1994.
  • He co-founded the Baltic Sea Festival in 2003 to bring the countries around the Baltic Sea together and raise environmental awareness.
  • In 1989, he replaced Andre Previn as the L.A. Philharmonic's Music Director. In 2009, he was appointed its first Conductor Laureate.
  • He served the LA Phil longer than anyone else in the orchestra's history, leading the orchestra in 973 concerts and 23 tours.
  • He has been Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic since Autumn of 2015.
  • Salonen and the Philharmonia have pioneered the idea of 'digital residency' which allows members of the public to conduct, play and step inside the orchestra through audio and video projections.
  • In 2014 he was part of an international television and web campaign for Apple, promoting iPad Air. 
  • In Berlin, he and the Philharmonia gave the first ever full orchestral concert inside an Apple store.

    Did you know?

    Salonen considered buying Stravinsky's former Beverly Hills home but, after visiting the house and seeing indentations from Stravinsky's piano  still visible in the carpet, he was too intimidated by the prospect of trying to compose in the same house.

Esa-Pekka Salonen - The Conductor

News

Music

Violin Re-Rite Re-Rite - Be the Orchestra

Until 15 November, the Philharmonia is offering the public the opportunity to experience performing with the Orchestra.