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KUSC is ready for Salonen's farewell

Plans include the live airing of his final concerts and a replay of

April 02, 2009|Alicia Lozano

Classical music station KUSC-FM (91.5) is honoring outgoing Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen with special programs this month, including live broadcasts of two of his final performances and a documentary commemorating the maestro's 17 years with the orchestra.

First up is "E-P in L.A.: Reinventing the Los Angeles Philharmonic," a two-hour documentary featuring interviews with collaborators Frank Gehry, Peter Sellars, Deborah Borda and Ernest Fleischmann, musicians and commentary from Salonen. It will be broadcast Sunday at 4 p.m.

His final two programs as the orchestra's leader will air live from Disney Hall at 8 p.m. April 11 and at 2 p.m. April 19. They also will stream live over the KUSC website.

KUSC will also reprise "Esa-Pekka Salonen's 1984 L.A. Phil Debut Concert" -- his first performance as guest conductor with the L.A. Phil. That will air April 12 at 4 p.m.

And when Salonen turns over the baton to Gustavo Dudamel, so too will a changing of the guard take place behind the mike at KUSC. Gail Eichenthal, who has presided over the station's broadcasts of the L.A. Phil since 1978, is giving up that part of her job.

She will remain at KUSC as program director and will continue to co-host "Arts Alive." She also vows to "pop up from time to time" on other programs.

"It's been a wonderful ride and it feels like the right time to turn over the microphone and give somebody else a chance to have this marvelous experience," Eichenthal said. "I continue to be close to the orchestra. That won't end."

Her final broadcast will coincide with Salonen's grand finale April 19. Brian Lauritzen, a producer and on-air voice since 2006, will replace Eichenthal starting April 26, when KUSC launches its 2009 season of 12 L.A. Phil concerts recorded at Disney Hall.

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alicia.lozano@latimes.com

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