Learn about our updated health and safety guidelines.

The New York Philharmonic

Update Browser

Pages don't look right?

You are using a browser that does not support the technology used on our website.

Please select a different browser or use your phone or tablet to access our site.

Download: Firefox | Chrome | Safari | Microsoft Edge

Note that Internet Explorer is no longer supported as of June 15, 2022.

Learn about our updated health and safety guidelines.

Salonen Residency Kicks Off with LA Variations Sept. 25–26

Posted August 18, 2015

Esa-Pekka Salonen New York Philharmonic

“I’m very lucky to work with the Philharmonic during a period that I’m sure will become known as one of its golden periods,” Esa-Pekka Salonen has said of his appointment as our Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence

We’re kicking off the three-year tenure September 25–26 with our performance of Salonen’s LA Variations. The great composer-conductor recalls the state of mind that inspired the piece: 

I quite often think of a particular morning in Santa Monica in the mid-’90s. I woke up early and went down to the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee. Then I sat there and wondered, why do I feel so strange? And then I realized I was happy, which for a Finnish person is not a normal state of mind. But I also felt profoundly free. I realized that I had been in L.A. long enough to feel free of the European modernist tradition I was brought up in, where everything was forbidden. More or less that day I made the first sketches for LA Variations, which, for me, is a seminal piece. Even today when I hear this piece performed, it takes me back to that very happy morning.

Alan Gilbert will bring great enthusiasm to conducting the September performances: 

I love LA Variations. I feel very close to its explosion of energy that is as appropriate to New York as it is to Los Angeles. Of course there will be pressure when I conduct it, with Esa-Pekka sitting in the audience, but turning over a piece to other interpreters is a crucial stage in the life of a great work like this.

And there's much more to come! Learn more about Salonen and his multifaceted residency, and watch a video with his thoughts about it, here.