Multiverse Esa-Pekka Salonen

Als Dirigent und Komponist ist Esa-Pekka Salonen in unterschiedlichen musikalischen Welten zu Hause – und vereint sie zum Multiversum.

Esa-Pekka Salonen
Esa-Pekka Salonen © Clive Barda

There are composing conductors and conducting composers. And then there’s Esa-Pekka Salonen, the universal musician, whom one critic called »one of the few true double talents in the music world«. That praise is entirely justified, as his engagements around the world and his – always euphorically acclaimed – performances in the Elbphilharmonie testify. The artist, who was born in Helsinki in 1958, already gave multiple guest performances here in spring 2022, kicking off a portrait series that will stretch over two seasons. The »Multiverse Esa-Pekka Salonen« series now continues – or perhaps we should say »expands«.

Over ten concerts, fans and friends, newcomers and the adventurous, all have an opportunity to immerse themselves in Salonen’s musical cosmos. In the majority of cases the man himself will be on the conductor’s podium. In the first concert he is teaming up with the Vienna Philharmonic for Olivier Messiaen’s monumental »Turangalîla-Sinfonie«, which Salonen says »opened up a whole new world« for him as a teenager.

They are joined by pianist Yuja Wang, who can also be seen performing piano concertos by Sergey Rachmaninov and Magnus Lindberg. Salonen presents two programmes with the San Francisco Symphony, whose chief conductor he became in 2020 after posts in Los Angeles and London, and another two programmes with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.

A number of his own compositions are also being performed, including the string quartet »Homunculus«, a tone poem about the Greek goddess of the night Nyx, which meanders between Ravel and Mahler, the Bach-inspired »Fog« and, for the grand finale, a spectacular new organ concerto written for and performed by Iveta Apkalna, the Elbphilharmonie’s titular organist.

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