Salonen, Esa-Pekka

Salonen, Esa-Pekka, 1958–, Finnish conductor and composer. Originally a French horn player, he studied (1973–77) at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy. He made his conducting debut (1979) with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, his American debut (1984) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and conducted (1984–95) the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. A noted advocate of a repertory that combines traditional classical works with varied pieces of contemporary classical music, Salonen was music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1992 to 2009, and has been principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, since 2008.. In 2020, he became artistic director of the San Francisco Symphony. He has become known for his passionate, dynamic, and exacting style of conducting. His compositions, written in a postserialist style, include Horn Music (1976), Floof (1982, rev. 1990), LA Variations (1997), Five Images after Sappho (1999), and Wing on Wing (2004).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies