Esa-Pekka Salonen

Biography

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is known as both a composer and conductor and is currently the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. He is the Conductor Laureate for both the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009As a conductor and leader, he has become known for his ground-breaking approach to presenting and performing music, joining cutting-edge technological innovation with adventurous curation and meticulous performance. His past projects have included much-hailed app The Orchestra for iPad, with a complimentary advertising campaign for Apple using extracts of his Violin Concerto. He has also addressed the Apple Distinguished Educator conference on the uses of technology in music education. He also pioneered the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Virtual Orchestra, the first major virtual-reality production from a UK symphony orchestra; the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, which have allowed people all over the world to conduct, play, and step inside the orchestra through audio and video projections.

In November 2021 his score for the film The Wait directed by Aku Louhimies won best original score at 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Jury comment Jury comment: Creating a score which is not only spiritually liberating, its emotional rawness not only gets under the skin of the audience, but perfectly reflects the inner passions, loves and insecurities of the three main characters. The score includes original music by Salonen as well as music from his cello concerto, the orchestral work Gambit and the solo cello piece Knock, Breathe, Shine.