Esa-Pekka Salonen’s artistic collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra has been dominated by landmark multi-disciplinary festivals, exploring the music of key 20th-century composers and musical movements in their widest possible cultural, social and historical context. The 2012/2013 season will see Salonen appear in over thirty different cities worldwide with the Philharmonia Orchestra focusing on the works of his teacher and mentor Witold Lutosławski, marking the centenary of the composer’s birth.
Salonen holds the position of Artistic Director and co-founder of the Baltic Sea Festival, an event that annually invites celebrated orchestras, conductors and soloists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.
As a composer, Salonen’s works are regularly performed and broadcast around the world; Floof and LA Variations have become established as modern classics. His Violin Concerto won the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer prize for Music Composition. Three major retrospectives of his work (most recent at Festival Présences Paris, in February 2011, at the Stockholm International Composer Festival in October 2004 and at Musica Nova, Helsinki, in March 2003) were presented to capacity audiences and were critically acclaimed.
In addition to the recordings of his own compositions, Esa-Pekka Salonen has a considerable discography on the Signum label (together with the Philharmonia Orchestra), Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony Classical.
At the beginning of the 2010/11 season, Esa-Pekka Salonen began a residency at the Konzerthaus Dortmund. The project “Expedition Salonen” has woven his life as conductor, composer and creator into the fabric of the Konzerthaus Dortmund’s artistic life over three consecutive seasons. He has appeared in Dortmund with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and as part of the hugely successful interactive Digital Installation with the Philharmonia, Re-Rite (taken to Dortmund in Autumn 2011).
Salonen’s dedication to technology, digital platforms and outreach has been realised through his work with the Philharmonia Orchestra on a number of innovative projects. Together in 2012, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Digital Department have created Universe of Sound an interactive hi-definition major installation at the Science Museum in London. In recent seasons, the award winning Re-Rite, first exhibited in London in 2009 has gone on to appear in Portugal, China and Turkey as well as Germany, returning to London as part of the Rite of Spring Centenary in Spring 2013.
During Salonen’s tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009, his contributions extended far beyond subscription concerts and international tours. The genesis of many unique festivals and collaborations under his leadership included a production of Saint François d'Assise at the Salzburg Festival (1992), and a "Stravinsky Festival" together with Pierre Boulez at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris (1996). Salonen’s orchestral guest appearances are also diverse and include regular appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony (BRSO) and North German Radio Symphony (NDR) as well as the Chicago Symphony and New York Philharmonic.