July 23, 2009 |
Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto received a brightly confident performance at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night. The date marks the first day in the rest of the life of a major work. The concerto's first performance was early in 2007 by the New York Philharmonic. Salonen conducted, and Yefim Bronfman, for whom the concerto was written and to whom it is dedicated, was soloist. Salonen and Bronfman recorded the concerto in Los Angeles last year at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the CD was released in the U.S. in April to coincide with Salonen's final concerts as Los Angeles Philharmonic music director.
April 12, 2009
Some glimpses of the conductor from his friends and colleagues who were asked to share a key memory. The reminiscences were mostly written, at the invitation of The Times. Several were shared in interviews with music critic Mark Swed and staff writer Mike Boehm. MARK KASHPER Philharmonic violinist One of Esa-Pekka's favorite Finnish jokes goes like this: Q. What's the difference between Finnish introvert and extrovert? A.
November 14, 2008 |
Manny and Fima are a couple of very well-liked guys who live in the same building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They come from the same part of the world and from countries that begin with the letter U: Manny was born in Ukraine, Fima in what is now Uzbekistan. Manny's the mensch with a flair for practical jokes. Fima's known to be a character. Like a lot of Eastern European Jewish emigrants to New York, they like to eat, but they have been watching their weight and lately have lost some.
October 8, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- When pianist Yefim Bronfman steps onto the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage Thursday night for the first of four consecutive concerts with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the moment will be weighted with musical history. And that's saying something for a man who was a protege of Isaac Stern, studied with Rudolf Serkin and Leon Fleisher, roomed with Yo-Yo Ma and made his first major orchestral appearances in the U.S. under the baton of Leonard Bernstein.
May 31, 2008 |
On Feb. 1, 2007, the New York Philharmonic premiered Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto, his most ambitious orchestral score. The Big Apple's skeptical concert-goers and critics, proudly sporting their late-model flashiness detectors, responded with surprising (and evidently surprised) enthusiasm. The composer conducted. The orchestra, a very great ensemble in music it has played a million times, was impressive, barely over its head. Yefim Bronfman, the herculean Russian pianist for whom the concerto was written, sweated bullets at the premiere and complained to any reporter who would listen about just how outrageously difficult the solo part was -- and how unfairly late the composer, a close friend, had been in delivering the finished score.
April 1, 2005 |
Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov has a reputation as a paragon of Old World virtues. Partly, that's due to his courtly manner, vigorous work ethic and antipathy for self-promotion. But Temirkanov's strongest connection to tradition is musical, specifically his favoring warm feeling over cool precision in his interpretations of the standard repertory. "He's extremely emotional as a conductor," pianist Yefim Bronfman, a frequent collaborator, said the other day.