Salonen in 2003
Photo: Stefan Bremer
And so it is with bad news – even though you know it’s coming – there remains an undeniable sting. It is with a heavy heart that I opened the announcement for the Los Angeles Philharmonic
’s 2008/2009 season in today’s mail. This will be the final season under the musical direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen and it is no understatement that his tenure here has changed the face of classical music not only in LA but in this country as a whole. While what will follow him may have great promise, it is just that – a voucher of things yet delivered.
So what will this last year feature? Unsurprisingly, it plays out with 9 months of close friends, collaborators, and greatest hits all wrapped up under the moniker Celebrate: Salonen
. In many ways it’s my idea of a “dream season.” The programs he will lead will rely heavily on the music of Igor Stravinsky over a number of programs including The Firebird
, Le Sacre du Printemps
, and, for his final appearance on the WDCH stage as music director in April 09, Symphony of Psalms
and a semi-staged version of Oedipus Rex
with collaborator Peter Sellars. Sellars will also be involved with Salonen for the twice rescheduled La Passion de Simone
from Kaija Saariaho with Dawn Upshaw in January 09. Also in the works is another new Salonen commission to be premiered in April 09 on a bill with Ligeti’s Clocks and Clouds
and Beethoven’s 5th. Other old friends to appear with the maestro will include Emmanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, and Salonen will lead new commissions from both Louis Andriessen and Arvo Pärt.
The non-Salonen department has nary a dog in it. Highlights include two weeks of programming under the guidance of John Adams including the LA premiere of A Flowering Tree
with the original cast and a second night with his Son of Chamber Symphony
. Thomas Adès will lead selections from Berlioz’ Les Troyens
with his own Tevot
and America: A Prophecy
. MTT will bring his Thomashefsky Project down south, Dudamel will try to stay out of Christine Brewer’s way in Strauss’ Four Last Songs
, and Christoph Eschenbach will support Julia Fischer in the first Shostakovich violin concerto. And the hits keep on coming with appearances from Marin Alsop, James Conlon, Stephane Denève, Robert Spano, Charles Dutoit, Christian Zacharias, Martha Argerich (Ravel Piano concerto in G), Xian Zhang (Adams, Prokofiev, and Bartok), Lionel Bringuier, Bernard Labadie, Kate Royal, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Gil Shaham. The San Francisco symphony will visit with MTT, Dudamel will perform with the Israel Philharmonic, and Zubin Mehta has a two-night stand with the Vienna Philharmonic. This is a season so good not even appearances from Midori and Joshua Bell can sink it.
I’m totally wound-up now, so I’ll stop here. So enjoy. It may be the end of the world as we know it, but it will likely feel fine.
Labels: LA Philharmonic