Esa-Pekka Salonen has chosen Mahler's Third Symphony to kick off his new gig in London as principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra. The June 12 performance is part of the opening-week festivities in the Royal Festival Hall after a two-year renovation of the 1951-vintage auditorium.
Salonen, adding the London duties to his ongoing tenure as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, told Britain's Guardian newspaper that the boundary-stretching philosophy he has used with great success in L.A. will be the template in London as well.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday January 31, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 49 words Type of Material: Correction
Esa-Pekka Salonen: A Quick Takes item in Tuesday's Calendar said that Esa-Pekka Salonen would begin his tenure as principal conductor of London's Philharmonia Orchestra on June 12 at the Royal Festival Hall. Salonen will conduct the orchestra then, but his appointment as principal conductor does not begin until 2008.
Conducting in multicultural L.A., Salonen said, made him realize that "in a city where 160 languages are spoken, the European top 10 is not the only option. I realized there were other lists," which led him to take risks with new music, and led to fruitful collaborations with the likes of stage director Peter Sellars and video artist Bill Viola. "The approach that worked in L.A. was not to dumb down, but to do the opposite, to challenge the audience. And people responded.... The only way forward is to reinforce integrity rather than play the Nutcracker again and again."
-- Mike Boehm