Esa-Pekka Salonen, musical director of the Los Angeles Philarmonic Orchestra until summer 2009,
is one of the most brilliant conductors of his generation. He has recently taken up the position of
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
Even though he studied at the Sibelius Academy, it took him years before considering
conducting works of Finland s emblematic composer, Jean Sibelius. 'To me, he says, an ideal
concert of Sibelius should not look like an interpretation, nor like any point of view. I would like it to
be like the shattering ice, during springtime, in a Northern river: intense, beautiful, terrifying and
inevitable. I am not sure if someone can ever do that, but we can at least try.' During Summer 2007 in Verbier, Salonen lead the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, and took up this
challenge in Sibelius' Fifth Symphony. His interpretation really evokes these ice blocks breaking
during springtime: intense, beautiful, terrifying and inevitable.
Before this unforgettable « Fifth » of Sibelius, Salonen, also a composer, conducts one of his own
works, L.A. Variations. Premiered in 1996 and commissioned by the Los Angeles Philarmonic
Orchestra, this piece has been especially written by Salonen in order to highlight the virtuosity
and the power of this orchestra.