In conversation with Esa-Pekka Salonen

Posted on: December 23, 2015

On Tuesday (12/22) at New York radio station WNYC, actor Alec Baldwin interviews Esa-Pekka Salonen, principal conductor and artistic advisor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, composer in residence at the New York Philharmonic, and conductor laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where was music director from 1992 to 2009. “Salonen talks about his passion for composing; the psychological difference between conducting and composing; and why he has a complicated relationship with Italian opera.” In a 45-minute audio interview, Salonen says, “Conducting is a very intense thing, socially, onstage with 100 other people. In rehearsal you’re trying to present your ideas about the piece in such a way that they accept them [and will] willingly follow you to wherever you would want to go. I really enjoyed that aspect. The actual act of conducting—standing on a box, waving a stick in the air—is not very interesting. It’s just the tip of the iceberg.” Salonen also speaks about the instant connection he felt with musicians in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, and how he originally became a conductor as a way to get more new music on orchestra programs.

Posted December 23, 2015