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Articles tagged with: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Converging on a cosmic plane, CSO and Ma find star stuff in Salonen’s new Cello Concerto

Mar 10, 2017 – 5:48 pm
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Review: As the audience packed into Orchestra Hall whooped its enthusiasm for Esa-Pekka Salonen’s new Cello Concerto, just given its world premiere by soloist Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Salonen conducting, the two stars of the moment gleefully pointed fingers at each other as if to say, “You’re the man,” and, “Oh no, you’re the man.” They were both right.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor and composer, again casts his lights on Chicago Symphony

Mar 7, 2017 – 3:48 pm
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Review: Predictable highlights of any Chicago Symphony Orchestra season are the programs with perennial guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. When the brilliant Finnish maestro is on the podium, the fare is always special. Now Salonen is finishing up an extended weekend run of Stravinsky’s “Le sacre du printemps” on March 7, before moving right into the world premiere of the conductor-composer’s own Cello Concerto, with soloist Yo-Ya Ma, March 9-11.

Salonen, embracing history and the present, leads CSO anniversary concert to celebrate

Mar 2, 2016 – 12:15 pm
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Review: Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s recent concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra came as a multifaceted, indeed exhilarating reminder of the CSO’s grand legacy and at the same time pointed up the orchestra’s undiminished prowess as well as its still-rising arc of achievement.

CSO’s ‘French Reveries and Passions’: Spirit and imagination set crown on a dream festival

May 24, 2015 – 12:09 am
Night falls on the final act of CSO's Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy. (Todd Rosenberg)

Festival Review: It’s that time of the year when orchestras change their pace, kick back a bit and come a-bloom with new ideas in the spirit of the warming clime. Thus the New York Philharmonic celebrates its 50th season of Concerts in the Parks, the Cincinnati Symphony’s May Festival gets underway, the Boston Symphony is deep into its Pops concerts. But the place to be this season is in the Windy City, where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is midway through an extravagant multidimensional festival “French Reveries & Passions.”

Ravel opera rarity (an armchair sings) injects pure fantasy, great fun into CSO French fest

May 9, 2015 – 3:34 pm
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Review: It isn’t every Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert that ends with the conductor leading a gaggle of children across the stage like the pied piper. But there he was, Esa-Pekka Salonen, smiling ear to ear, a little child’s hand in his, marching the Anima-Young Singers of Greater Chicago into view for their ovation after a deliciously witty performance of Ravel’s one-act opera “L’enfant et les sortilèges,” an evident if unexpected hit at the CSO’s “French Reveries and Passions” festival.

Musical accent unmistakable, French pianist Tiberghien gives CSO fest pitch-perfect start

May 4, 2015 – 3:03 pm
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Review: The French pianist Cédric Tiberghien turns 40 years old on May 5, but it was he passing out the presents May 3 at Orchestra Hall. His recital, devoted largely to Ravel and Debussy as the official opening event of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s three-week festival titled “French Reveries & Passions,” was a veritable shower of musical gifts from a pianist making his Chicago debut and, incredibly enough, still just barely known in the U.S.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, in double duty as conductor and composer, sparks energy surge with CSO

Apr 13, 2014 – 10:28 pm

Review: The Finnish-born, California-invigorated composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, at 55, could not be more robustly complementary in nature to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s elegant 72-year-old Italian-born music director Riccardo Muti, who has taught Chicago so much about the composers in close orbit to Old Vienna. In March, Muti made familiar Schubert seem new again. In April, Salonen made new music sound familiar.

With ‘Lemminkäinen’ epic, Salonen and CSO capture Sibelius in youthful flower, prowess

Apr 6, 2014 – 4:03 pm
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Review: This is a perfect moment to reflect on Sibelius’ early mastery, in light of the great achievements by the twentysomething Schubert we’ve been hearing from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and music director Riccardo Muti. And it is the fully flowered young Sibelius, before the First Symphony, caught up in the allure of Finnish myth and in absolute command of his symphonic craft, whom the CSO and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen celebrate in a season-peak program heard April 3 and to be repeated April 8.

Honoring composer whose time may be now, Salonen, Yo-Yo Ma make case for Lutosławski

Mar 2, 2013 – 1:04 am
Yo Yo Ma and Esa-Pekka Salonen take bows after performing the Lutoslawski Cello Concerto with Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: Among the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s most important relationships with conductors in their prime middle years is surely that with Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, 54, who led a concert of Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Lutoslawski so compelling that it made one want to go back to the box office and do the whole thing all over again. Through March 3. ★★★★★

In tributes to ‘Tristan,’ Salonen and CSO lack forces and focus to embrace Wagner epic

Feb 23, 2013 – 10:22 am
Esa Pekka Salonen conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen once undertook total immersion in the music of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde,” an opera of lasting influence and extraordinary musical language, newly coined to express ecstatic, forbidden love and its all-consuming anguish. Today Salonen’s enthusiasm for exploring this operatic icon is undiminished. In addition to two concert performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of “Tristan’s” mesmerizing second act, he led “Beyond the Score” performances that explored the controversy over Wagner’s musical nugget, the Tristan chord, and its breakthrough potential to lead the ear beyond traditional harmonic bounds. Neither effort proved entirely successful. Through Feb. 24.

Decidedly duo recital by Weilerstein, Barnatan launches Symphony Center chamber series

Oct 27, 2012 – 4:12 pm
Alisa Weilerstein alt credit Gerardo Antonio Sanchez Torres

Preview: Ask cellist Alisa Weilerstein about the recital she plays Oct. 28 at Orchestra Hall, and she will quickly note that the best thing about the program is that it’s actually a duo recital for two equally important voices – and that she’s lucky to be teamed up with Israeli pianist and longtime collaborator Inon Barnatan. Their concert opens the chamber music portion of this season’s Symphony Center Presents series, which also offers four more chamber concerts, nine solo piano recitals and two performances by visiting orchestras.

Chicago Symphony’s 2012-13 plans highlight Wagner, Stravinsky and waterway themes

Feb 6, 2012 – 7:38 pm
Riccardo Muti Orchestra Hall credit Todd Rosenberg

Complete season highlights, details.

Like composer on the podium, Salonen leads Chicago Symphony in brilliant Mahler Sixth

Dec 17, 2011 – 10:30 pm
Salonen_Esa-Pekka_featured image credit_Snezana Vucetic Bohm

The Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen shares a peculiarity of temperament and genius with Gustav Mahler. Like Mahler in his time, Salonen today stands among the most important conductors in the world. And again like his great forebear, Salonen would really rather be composing than be saddled with the responsibilities of music director for any orchestra you could name. Even one that might be looking for someone to succeed James Levine in Boston.