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Salonen's Contract Extended to 2006

Music* The conductor of the L.A. Philharmonic will be on the podium for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the fall of 2003.


Along with unveiling the schedule for its 84th winter season, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced Thursday that the orchestra's high-profile music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen, will be around to see it through: Salonen's contract, which was set to expire in September, has been extended three years, through the 2005-06 season.

The new contract formally ensures what the orchestra has long promised: that Salonen, 43, who has been courted by other major orchestras, will be on the podium not only for 2002-03, the Philharmonic's final season at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, but also for the opening of the orchestra's new home, Walt Disney Concert Hall, in the fall of 2003.

"We're watching the Disney Hall architecture go up, but Salonen is the cornerstone," said the Philharmonic's executive vice president and managing director, Deborah Borda. "He's the key structural element of the orchestra and our musical world." The new contract, she added, also includes a provision for further extensions.

Salonen's current contract had been expected to carry the conductor through the opening of Disney Hall, but after it was signed, construction delays caused the opening date of the concert hall to be pushed back several times.

Los Angeles Times Saturday February 23, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 2 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Salonen contract--In a story in Friday's Calendar about the Los Angeles Philharmonic's plans, the dates of Esa-Pekka Salonen's new contract were correct, but because the agreement goes into effect this spring, it is actually a four-year contract, not a three-year contract as the story indicated.

The 2002-2003 season will open Oct. 3 and end May 25, 2003. Among highlights announced at a luncheon press conference Thursday was the continuation of the Philharmonic's artist-in-residency program, featuring composer John Adams and violinist Midori.

Midori will perform as a soloist in two weeks of concerts and participate in education programs. Adams will have two major works performed in 2002-2003 season: the Los Angeles premiere of "El Nino," a multimedia oratorio for orchestra, film, chorus and dancers produced by Peter Sellars, which premiered in Paris in 2001; and the reprise of a Los Angeles Philharmonic commission, "Naive and Sentimental Music," which the orchestra premiered in 1999.

The works will be performed in L.A. and during the orchestra's tour to New York, where the orchestra will be presented in the Lincoln Center Great Performers series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at Avery Fisher Hall. Adams is reported to be preparing a commission for the opening of Disney Hall, but Borda would not confirm the commission.

Special programming for the 2002-2003 season includes an exploration of Latin influence on U.S. culture in two weeks of programs. The orchestra will perform works by Latin American composers. In January 2003, Salonen leads the world premiere of Mexican Gabriela Ortiz's Concerto for Percussion; Copland's "El salon Mexico" and Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas' "Redes," performed with a film by Paul Strand.

The program is a collaboration with the Latin-American Cinemateca of Los Angeles, which will arrange ancillary events. The March 2003 performances of Adams' "El Nino" in Los Angeles and a chamber music concert series focusing on Latin American composers will be surrounded by similar related community arts activities.

Along with the Ortiz concerto, other world premieres during the season include William Kraft's English Horn Concerto, a Philharmonic commission (Jan. 16, 18 and 19, 2003), and Augusta Read Thomas' Trombone Concerto (March 29 and 30, 2003).

U.S. premieres include "Le rovine di Palmira," a large-scale work by Italian composer Alberto Colla, conducted by Roberto Abbado (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 and 2, 2003); "Your Rockaby" by British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage for solo saxophone and orchestra (Feb. 21 through 23, 2003); and Gerald Levinson's "Five Fires" (April 10 through 12, 2003).

Shostakovich Cycle Will Be Continued

The Philharmonic will also continue the second year of its five-year cycle of performing the complete symphonies and string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich with the composer's Symphony No. 6 (Oct. 16 through 18).

Three Los Angeles music organizations--the Philharmonic, the Music Center's Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra--will collaborate during the season to explore various interpretations of the Nativity, including the "El Nino" performances. The Philharmonic and the Master Chorale will perform Berlioz's "L'enfance du Christ" (Dec. 20 through 22), and the Master Chorale and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra will perform Handel's "Messiah" (April 5 and 6, 2003).

Conductors and artists making their debuts in the Phil's winter season include Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski and Canadian Peter Oundjian. Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who made his debut with the Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl in 2000, will perform for the first time during the subscription season Dec. 5 through 8.

The Philharmonic has scheduled a Farewell to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Gala for mid-season, on Dec. 13, with the programming yet to be announced.

The orchestra will end the 2002-03 season next spring with three weeks of concerts conducted by Salonen and guest conductor Pierre Boulez. As a finale, the last three season concerts, May 22 through 25, 2003, conducted by Boulez, will conclude with Haydn's Symphony No. 45, "Farewell." The symphony calls for musicians to walk out, one by one, until no one is left onstage.

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