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  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic Celebrates Salonen As He Concludes His Tenure As Music Director With Five World Premieres, Including His Own Violin Concerto, and a Final Weekend of Works by Stravinsky
  • Apr. 7, 2009
  • Guest Artists Include Soprano Hila Plitmann, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Violinist Leila Josefowicz and an Impressive Lineup of Vocalists

    TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2009; THURSDAY - SATURDAY, APRIL 9 - 11, 2009; THURSDAY – SUNDAY, APRIL 16 – 19, 2009

    April 7 Media Sponsor: Los Angeles Magazine; The April 11 and 16 Concerts are Generously Sponsored by Breguet – the Official Timepiece of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; April 16 Media Sponsor: KUSC; The April 17 Concert is Generously Sponsored by Acura – All Acura Vehicles Park Free for the Evening; April 17 Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable; The April 16, 17, 18 and 19 Concerts are Generously Supported by Grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation

    “Los Angeles is a place that allows you to reach your potential… the people here are very curious, making it easier to create a dialogue with the audience…it’s quite liberating.” – Esa-Pekka Salonen

    In a send-off as remarkable as his legacy, Esa-Pekka Salonen concludes his tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with a series of concerts that feature five world premieres, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and a final weekend of Stravinsky, between Tuesday April 7 and Sunday, April 19, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The guest artists include: soprano Hila Plitmann in the Green Umbrella concert on April 7; the Women of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Ligeti’s Clocks and Clouds and violinist Leila Josefowicz giving the world premiere of Salonen’s Violin Concerto, April 9 – 11; and an impressive lineup that presents internationally acclaimed vocalists, an Oscar-nominated actress, a virtuosic dancer and an Ethiopian sculptor as part of Stravinsky’s Oedipus rex, April 16 – 19.

    The final Salonen concerts begin with a Green Umbrella series performance on Tuesday, April 7, at 8 p.m. In an appropriate lead-in to close his tenure, the champion of new music conducts a program of four Philharmonic-commissioned new works from some of today’s most innovative young composers – Enrico Chapela’s Li Po, Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms, Erin Gee’s Mouthpiece XI, and Fang Man’s Deluge. The program concludes with Salonen’s rhythmic and energetic 1982 score, Floof, featuring Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann. Salonen has often expressed his pride in the success of the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella series and says of this concert, “I wanted to make a gesture by having my last Green Umbrella concert focus on music of young and upcoming composers from all over the world. The four composers involved epitomize contemporary music. It is the most fitting way to wrap up my tenure: nurturing the next generation and helping new voices be heard and developed.”

    The Salonen-led concerts continue with three performances featuring Ligeti’s Clocks and Clouds with the Women of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Beethoven’s immensely popular Symphony No. 5 and the world premiere of Salonen’s Violin Concerto featuring acclaimed violinist Leila Josefowicz, Thursday, April 9, at 8 p.m., Friday, April 10, at 11 a.m., and Saturday, April 11, at 8 p.m.

    A cornerstone of Salonen’s tenure is the music of Igor Stravinsky, and that composer’s works, which have been threaded throughout the 2008/09 season, culminate in the LA Phil performances of Oedipus rex and the Symphony of Psalms, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, both staged by Peter Sellars, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 16, 17 and 18, at 8 p.m. In addition, a special non-subscription encore performance is to be held Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. The Oedipus rex cast includes: rising opera star tenor Rodrick Dixon as Oedipus; much sought-after mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter as Jocasta; versatile bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as Creon, Messenger and Tiresias; Southern California native tenor Daniel Montenegro as Shepherd; critically-acclaimed actress Viola Davis as Antigone; and in the Symphony of Psalms dancer Sonja Kostich as Ismene, and the Men of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Ethiopian artist Elias Simé, who has been garnering international recognition for his creations using found objects and whose work is currently featured at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, sculpted the thrones and carved the masks used in the production. Diane Malecki serves as associate producer.

    Salonen, the 10th music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, made his American debut with the orchestra as a guest conductor in 1984, and became music director in 1992. His 17 years in the role make him the longest-term music director in the LA Phil’s history. In the course of those 17 years, Salonen has conducted 120 world and U.S. premieres, 54 commissions, gone on 23 tours, and led more than 970 concerts with the orchestra; together, they have helped redefine the concept of a 21st-century symphony orchestra, and its role in the local, national and international community.

    In celebration of his extraordinary tenure, the Los Angeles Philharmonic launched a micro-site, that details the Maestro’s numerous achievements in the past 17 years. This comprehensive and multi-layered site is a living tribute to Salonen and features more than 100 images, four hours of audio interviews, three hours of video and 15 hours of music. Two new videos have recently been posted on the micro-site – one featuring John Adams, another with Peter Sellars – and a third special video narrated by Salonen looking back on his time in Los Angeles is to be posted soon. Additionally, site visitors can continue to leave tributes to Salonen on the micro-site.

    To further celebrate the Salonen legacy, the LA Phil’s Board of Directors and close friends established the Esa-Pekka Salonen Commissions Fund for the express purpose of supporting the commissioning and performance of new works. Also this season several of Salonen’s closest friends and collaborators – John Adams, Yefim Bronfman, Peter Sellars and Dawn Upshaw – have come to Walt Disney Concert Hall as LA Phil On Location artists.

    In conjunction with Salonen’s final concerts, the LA Phil has launched an online sweepstakes in which the grand prize is a signed Esa-Pekka Salonen street banner as well as tickets to his final LA Phil concert on April 19. Additionally, three runners-up will win signed copies of Salonen’s latest CD featuring his Piano Concerto. Details can be found on the LA Phil Web site,

    Upbeat Live pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, and occur one hour prior in BP Hall for the April 7, 9, 11, 16, 17, 18 and 19 concerts. For the April 10 concert, Upbeat Live is on stage, one hour and 15 minutes prior to the performance. Steven Stucky, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Consulting Composer for New Music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, hosts the discussions scheduled for April 7 – 11. Stucky is another long-term collaborator of Salonen and their partnership dates back to February 1992, when Salonen led the LA Phil in the world premiere of Stucky’s adaptation of Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. The April 16 – 19 Upbeat Live discussions are hosted by Gail Eichenthal, Director of Arts Programming for KUSC and host of the weekly radio program, Arts Alive.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, who was born in Helsinki in 1958, studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. In 1979, he made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1984. He was recently appointed Principal Conductor of London's Philharmonia for this season, his last with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition, Salonen has won acclaim for his work as a composer. Among the many highlights of Salonen's career with the Los Angeles Philharmonic have been world premieres of works by composers John Adams, Franco Donatoni, Anders Hillborg, William Kraft, Magnus Lindberg, Witold Lutoslawski, Bernard Rands, Kaija Saariaho, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, Tan Dun, and Augusta Read Thomas, as well as his own works. He has led critically acclaimed festivals of music by Ligeti, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Berlioz, and Beethoven, and the Tristan Project. He and the Philharmonic have toured extensively since 1992. In October of 2003, Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. In March 2003, Salonen signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The following year, DG released a disc devoted to his recent orchestral works, featuring Foreign Bodies, Insomnia, and Wing on Wing. In January 2006, Salonen and the Philharmonic recorded their first CD together for DG, the first live recording at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Salonen and the Philharmonic also have several live concert recordings available for download on iTunes from DG Concerts.) Before signing with DG, Salonen recorded regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen is the recipient of several major awards including the Siena Prize from the Accademia Chigiana in 1993, the first conductor ever to receive the prize; the Royal Philharmonic Society's Opera Award in 1995; and their Conductor Award in 1997. In 1998, he was awarded the rank of Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Musical America named him 2006 Musician of the Year.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music – Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.



    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2009, AT 8 PM

    Green Umbrella Series


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    HILA PLITMANN, soprano

    ENRICO CHAPELA Li Po (LAPA commission; world premiere)

    ANNA CLYNE Within Her Arms (LAPA commission; world premiere)

    ERIN GEE Mouthpiece XI (LAPA commission; world premiere)

    FANG MAN Deluge (LAPA commission; world premiere)

    SALONEN Floof

    THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2009, AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2009, AT 11 AM

    SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 2009, AT 8 PM

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor


    WOMEN OF THE LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, Grant Gershon, music director

    LIGETI Clocks and Clouds

    SALONEN Violin Concerto (world premiere; LAPA commission)

    BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

    THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2009, AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009, AT 8 PM

    SATURDAY, APRIL 18, 2009, AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2009, AT 2 PM (Non-subscription)

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    PETER SELLARS, director

    LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, Grant Gershon, music director

    RODRICK DIXON, Oedipus


    RYAN MCKINNY, Creon, Messenger, Tiresias


    VIOLA DAVIS, Antigone


    ELIAS SIMÉ, sculptor

    DUNYA RAMICOVA, costume designer

    JIM INGALLS, lighting designer


    Diane J. Malecki, associate producer

    Anne Dechene, production stage manager

    Jenny Lazar, assistant stage manager

    Lisa Logan, costume construction

    Seth Reiser and Christopher G. Walsh, assistants to the lighting designer

    STRAVINSKY Oedipus rex

    STRAVINSKY Symphony of Psalms

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of Ethiopian artist and curator Meskerem Assegued in facilitating the use of the sculptures of Elias Simé in Oedipus Rex.

    April 7 Media Sponsor: Los Angeles Magazine

    The April 11 and 16 concerts are generously sponsored by Breguet – the Official Timepiece of The Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    April 16 Media Sponsor: KUSC

    The April 17 concert is generously sponsored by Acura – all Acura vehicles park free for the evening.

    April 17 Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable

    The April 16, 17, 18 and 19 concerts are generously supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

    Upbeat Live pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, and occur one hour prior in BP Hall for all except 11 a.m. concerts, for which they occur one hour and 15 minutes prior on stage. Steven Stucky, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Consulting Composer for New Music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, hosts the Tuesday, April 7, as well as the Thursday April 9 through Sunday, April 11, discussions. Gail Eichenthal, Director of Arts Programming for KUSC and host for the weekly radio program, Arts Alive, hosts the Thursday, April 16 through Saturday, April 19, discussions.

    Tickets ($17 - $125) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034