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 later 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 become known for his passionate, dynamic, and exacting style of conducting. His compositions are written in a postserialist style. They include Horn Music (1976), Floof (1982, rev. 1990), L. A. Variations (1997), and Five Images after Sappho (1999).

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