The New York Philharmonic has named composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, beginning in the 2015–16 season through 2017–18, a three-year appointment. During his first season the Orchestra performs three of Mr. Salonen’s works, including World and New York Premieres, and he will conduct concerts during the Philharmonic’s Messiaen Week, as well as advise on new-music programming.
In the 2016–17 season, the Philharmonic will perform two New York Premieres by Mr. Salonen; he will conduct a program featuring a New York Premiere by Tansy Davies as well as a program celebrating Kaija Saariaho presented by and held at Park Avenue Armory; and he will continue to advise on new-music programming.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is principal conductor and artistic advisor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was music director from 1992 until 2009. He is artistic director and co-founder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.
Mr. Salonen’s work combines intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. His pieces for symphony orchestra include LA Variations (1996), Foreign Bodies (2001), Insomnia (2002), Wing on Wing (2004), and Nyx (2011), as well as two concertos: for pianist Yefim Bronfman and for violinist Leila Josefowicz. The latter was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award and was featured in a 2014 international Apple ad campaign for iPad. In 2014 Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, where he was the first-ever Creative Chair, premiered Karawane, for orchestra and chorus, to great acclaim. Karawane will be performed this season by the New York Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In August 2015 Mr. Salonen led the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms. In the 2015–16 season he takes the Philharmonia Orchestra on tour to Switzerland and France and will lead the Myths and Rituals: Stravinsky’s Journeys festival, an exploration of Stravinsky’s work that continues into next season. Also this season, Mr. Salonen makes conducting appearances with the NDR, Bavarian Radio, and Chicago symphony orchestras; New York, Vienna, and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras; Orchestre de Paris; and the joint forces of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, united for the first time. He will also conduct Richard Strauss’s Elektra at The Metropolitan Opera and Bartók’s Le Château de Barbe-Bleue and Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine at the Paris Opera. Throughout their relationship, Mr. Salonen and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra have curated landmark multidisciplinary projects, such as the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, which allow the public to conduct, play, and step inside the orchestra with Mr. Salonen through audio and video projections of musicians in performance. He also drove the development of The Orchestra, a widely hailed iPad app that allows the user unprecedented access to eight symphonic works.