Salonen to San Francisco

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Modernistfan
Posts: 1749
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:23 pm

Salonen to San Francisco

Post by Modernistfan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:36 pm

It has just been announced that Esa-Pekka Salonen will replace Michael Tilson Thomas as music director in San Francisco when MTT retires. It seems like a great hire for San Francisco, who should delight in Salonen's repertoire and support for various modernist tendencies. Unfortunately for New York, this will kill any plans that Deborah Borda might have had to get Salonen more heavily involved in the programming for New York to counter the stodginess of their own new music director, Jaap van Zveden. (I wonder how long Borda will stay when she realizes that she will have to deal with a board that considers Carl Nielsen a scarily radical composer.)

John F
Posts: 19972
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Salonen to San Francisco

Post by John F » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Well, how about that. As I remember, Salonen said he was leaving LA to have more time for composing and for his personal life back in Finland. You never know.

Salonen has been composer in residence with the NY Phil since 2015 and his term ends next year. He could hardly be more involved in that orchestra's programming etc. than he has been. No doubt Borda will have a strong influence on the Philharmonic's choice of its next composer in residence. We'll see.
John Francis

John F
Posts: 19972
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Salonen to San Francisco

Post by John F » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:56 am

In the interim between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Salonen has been principal conductor of London's Philharmonia Orchestra. He'll be leaving that position in 2021. At the same time, Vladimir Jurowski will leave the London Philharmonic.

Salonen's departure poses serious questions – and not just for the Philharmonia
Martin Kettle
Tue 4 Dec 2018

Fifty years ago, when classical music’s status within the performing arts in Britain was still more or less unchallenged, an event like Esa-Pekka Salonen’s decision to step down from his principal conductor’s role with the Philharmonia orchestra would have been one that the art form could take in its confident stride.

Even today, it is not in any way a crisis. After all, Salonen has been at the Philharmonia for a decade and will have notched up 13 years when he departs at the end of the 2020-21 season. He will be 63 then, and he has plenty of unfinished career business, above all as a composer, which he sees as his primary profession. He is also spending more time in his native Finland, to which he is gradually returning as a conductor, including a forthcoming Wagner Ring cycle in Helsinki.

Nevertheless, Salonen’s departure poses serious questions for the Philharmonia, for the Southbank Centre where it is based, and for orchestral music in this country – as well as for Salonen himself. At the heart of these questions is the place that symphony orchestras occupy in the artistic ecology of modern life. Salonen used to have an answer to that. In his 17 years as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1992 to 2009, he rewrote the manual for the roles of a conductor and a symphony orchestra in modern America, raising the standards of playing, focusing on contemporary music as well as classics, and embracing the digital age and new younger audiences and forms of listening.

A decade ago, one of Salonen’s most committed advocates, the New Yorker critic Alex Ross, wrote: “The Salonen era in LA may mark a turning point in the recent history of classical music in America. It is a story not of an individual magically imprinting his personality on an institution – what Salonen has called the ‘empty hype’ of conductor worship – but of an individual and an institution bringing out unforeseen capabilities in each other, and thereby proving how much life remains in the orchestra itself, at once the most conservative and the most powerful of musical organisms.”

That question is still an open one. At the Philharmonia, Salonen has reworked many of his Angelino ideas in new forms, including flagship themed series on the second Viennese school and Stravinsky, along with fresh innovations with digital technology, notably in immersive virtual reality films. The orchestra took to his approach. Salonen has been a successful and popular boss. The impact, though, has been less dramatic than it was in Los Angeles, perhaps because European audiences are already more modern-minded, and perhaps because, with its four symphony orchestras, two opera houses and multiple smaller ensembles, London simply has so much more music than most other cities that it is difficult for one person to reshape it.

Perhaps, though, it is also because Salonen has been working mainly in the Royal Festival Hall. In the postwar era of Thomas Beecham, Otto Klemperer and the young Bernard Haitink, the Festival Hall was London classical music’s temple. But the venue – especially during the 2006-18 reign of Jude Kelly as artistic director – seems to have fallen gradually out of love with classical music, which plays a much less central role in the hall’s life than it did in the past. Add to that the return to London, at the helm of the Barbican-based London Symphony Orchestra, of Simon Rattle, who is a more extrovert and more famous exponent of Salonen’s modern-focused approach, and it may be that Salonen has decided that he has got as far in the British capital as he is going to.

Nevertheless, the simultaneous departures at the end of 2020-21 of Salonen from the Philharmonia and Vladimir Jurowski from the London Philharmonic pose big questions for the Southbank Centre. Both conductors have kept their orchestras at the top of the league. Yet both the Philharmonia and the LPO will need to ensure that the Southbank possesses a long-term commitment to the work the orchestras want to do – whatever that now is.

Both orchestras will also be fishing in the same pool of prospective successors just when, in 2020-21, it is all-change at the head of some of Europe’s most important orchestras and opera houses – and just as Brexit begins to have its unpredictable effect on London’s international allure and standing.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/ ... ilharmonic
John Francis

maestrob
Posts: 5712
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Salonen to San Francisco

Post by maestrob » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:19 am

Well, well.

America's gain, I think.

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17659
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: Salonen to San Francisco

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:55 pm

The SFA should dissapear, its a crap place now.
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 28 guests