Just in: Berlin Phil appoints Esa-Pekka Salonen as composer-in-residence – SlippediscSlippedisc

Norman Lebrecht

August 26, 2022

The orchestra has just announced the Finn as composer in residence for the coming season.

Excerpt from the press release:
If there is a dogma in Esa-Pekka Salonen’s understanding of music, it is the rejection of all dogma. He does not allow himself to be pigeonholed, but seeks music that excites and moves the listener – how he does this is secondary. In the 2022/23 season, Esa-Pekka Salonen is the Berliner Philharmoniker’s composer-in-residence.

In his youth, one of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s main concerns was to defend the true values ​​of music. If a Donna Summer hit was playing at a student party, he could sit down at the piano with a friend and they would counter it with dodecaphonic four-hand music. From now on, Salonen can only laugh at such episodes and no longer considers pop music and twelve-tone music as mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s music is very expressive and speaks directly to the listener. He knows no dogmas and is therefore difficult to classify. Flickering sound surfaces or groups of dissonant chords rub shoulders with rhythmic explosions or a sometimes late romantic harmony. “I write music that touches something in me. Initially, I also see myself as a receiver, as a listener. When I write a song, I first play it in my head. If the listener in me thinks it’s good and interesting, exciting or moving, then I write it down. If I like it myself, chances are that others, possibly many, will like it too.

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