Esa-Pekka Salonen is one of the most exciting multiple talents of our time: he enjoys an equal international reputation as both a composer and a conductor. It's fair to ask whether Mr Salonen is actually a conductor who composes, or a composer who conducts. Or is he a composing, conducting music-education specialist and festival director?
Salonen is always on the go, and he is currently not just music director of both the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. »In addition«, he always finds time to write impressive new compositions that are performed by the world's best orchestras. And as if that weren't enough, he has also made a name for himself in recent years as a tireless musical innovator, as a pioneer of digital formats and a keen founder of festivals.
»Art is not about searching for the truth. We are dealing with emotions, with communication and expression, and our goal must be to provide people with powerful experiences.«
Change to the programme: Please note that the first half of the concert will consist solely of Esa-Pekka Salonen's work »Gemini«. Rameau's »Castor and Pollux« Suite will not be played as originally announced.
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen
Symphonie fantastique / Episode de la vie d’un artiste op. 14
About the programme
The first programme in the »Multiversum Esa-Pekka Salonen« features Salonen conducting the first German performance of his work »Gemini«, which was premiered in 2018/19. The two-part orchestral work was inspired by the twin half-brothers of Greek and Roman mythology, Pollux and Castor. Salonen starting working on »Pollux« in 2018, but during the composition process he ran across the problem that the music »was developing in two completely opposite directions«. The composer soon realised that the two contrasting musical identities could not coexist in a single piece: »The solution was to write two independent orchestral pieces that were genetically connected. In the process, I had to think of the legend of the twin half-brothers Castor and Pollux, who have half of their DNA in common, but also show extreme differences in behaviour, and experience dramatically different fates.«
After the interval, there is a pioneer of French music history on the programme: Hector Berlioz and his famous »Symphonie fantastique«, which portrays the romantic yearning and the opium highs of a passionate artist in revolutionary orchestral music full of glowing colour.
Esa-Pekka Salonen in the Elbphilharmonie
The Elbphilharmonie is giving Salonen his own »multiverse«, spread over two seasons, in order to explore all the different facets of this versatile musical personality.