He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen has swapped his baton for the Olympic Torch on the 69th day of its nationwide journey.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is carrying the Olympic flame this morning on the penultimate day of the Torch Relay in London. His 330 yard journey begins on St Martin's Le-Grand, and continues along Cheapside and King Street.
Salonen, Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, will be passed the flame around 9.40am by Joanna Lumley. He is the 40th Torchbearer, on the 69th day of the Relay.
He was nominated to take part in the momentous lead-up to the Games because he believes everyone can gain something from classical music. Since he took over as Principal Conductor at the Philharmonia in 2008, he has tried to find ways to bring the arts to a wider audience across the globe.
Salonen has just returned from New York, and enjoyed a trip to Finland just days before. Despite his hectic travel schedule, it seems the conductor was up and ready for his Torch-carrying journey at 7am today - he tweeted a picture of himself in the official uniform (above).
So far this morning the torch has passed through North London and Islington, starting its journey at 6.48am. It will arrive in Westminster this evening, before the final leg of its UK trip to the Olympic Park.