Works Discography

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. This is his final of three seasons as the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic and his second of five as Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, where he will conduct his first full Ring cycle in future seasons. Additionally, Salonen is Artistic Director and cofounder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, now in its fifteenth year, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea. He serves as an advisor to the Sync Project, a global initiative to harness the power of music for human health.


Salonen’s works move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Of the premiere of his Cello Concerto for Yo-Yo Ma with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in spring 2016, one critic wrote, “Language can't fully capture the glorious range and complexity of this concerto.” The New York Philharmonic went on to perform the cello concerto at home and on their European tour as part of Salonen’s Composer-in-Residency, which this year will feature the New York Premiere of his Gambit and the New York Concert Premiere of Helix. The Los Angeles Philharmonic performs all of Salonen's concertos in February 2018, with Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Yefim Bronfman, and violinist Leila Josefowicz—the musicians for whom the works were written. The Violin Concerto won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award and was featured in a 2014 international Apple ad campaign for iPad. This season it will be choreographed by Saburo Teshigawara at the Paris Opera Ballet, with Salonen conducting some of the performances. 


The Barbican Centre in London has a season-long focus on Salonen’s music, including performances of LA Variations for orchestra; Dichotomie for piano; Two Songs from Kalender Röd for chorus; Dona Nobis Pacem for female chorus; Iri da iri for chorus; Gambit for orchestra; Wing on Wing, written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's inaugural season at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall and including recordings of Southern California’s plainfin midshipman fish and distorted samples of Mr. Gehry’s voice; Mimo II for oboe; the UK premiere of Karawane for orchestra and chorus, which he wrote as the first-ever Creative Chair at the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich; Concert etude for horn, and the European Premiere of a new work entitled Pollux for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 


Salonen's compositions will also be featured at the Helsinki Festival and Carnegie Hall and played by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, under Salonen's baton; the Kansas City and Nashville symphonies; the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, which gives the Canadian Premiere of Insomnia, and by a joint orchestra of Sibelius Academy and Juilliard School students who, under Salonen's direction, perform Mania for cello and orchestra. The Tero Saarinen Dance Company and Royal and Boston ballets will perform pieces choreographed to two additional Salonen orchestral works—Foreign Bodies and Nyx, respectively.  


As he enters his tenth year as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen leads Mahler's third and ninth symphonies, a celebration of 100 years of Finnish independence, the European premiere of Unsuk Chin's Le Chant des Enfants des Etoiles, and Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. Salonen and the Philharmonia have experimented in groundbreaking ways to present music, with the first major virtual-reality production from a UK symphony orchestra; the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations, which have allowed people all over the world to conduct, play, and step inside the orchestra through audio and video projections, and the much-hailed app for iPad, The Orchestra, which allows the user unprecedented access to the internal workings of eight symphonic works.


As the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for seventeen years, Salonen is widely credited with revitalizing the organization. He was instrumental in helping the orchestra to open Walt Disney Concert Hall, presided over countless premieres of contemporary work, began the Esa-Pekka Salonen Commissions Fund, and made the orchestra one of the best attended and funded in the country.

More information:
Official homepage

facebook twitter email print


knock, breath, shine (2010)
Sarabande per un coyote (2010)
YTA III (1986)


Esa-Pekka Salonen

Kaija Saariaho

Works for Solo Cello

Wilhelmina Smith, cello

ODE 1294-2

Released 03/2019

more info & buy