Esa-Pekka Salonen 60 years

Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paula Vesala, Alan Gilbert, Matti Salminen, the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, the Chorus of the Finnish National Opera

There is plenty of cause for celebration: Helsinki Festival turns 50 and Esa-Pekka Salonen turns 60! The most successful Finnish conductor on the international level needs no introduction. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Finnish National Opera as well as guest stars help to demonstrate the different aspects of the artistic persona of composer-conductor Salonen. Along the way, they ponder what it means to be a Finnish artist in the world.

The birthday concert opens with the Korvat auki Society for Contemporary Music, which Salonen had a hand in founding in 1977. The new work by young and fearless contemporary composers is inclusive and surprising: can a composition take on new life during the performance with the help of social media? The concert is also the Finnish premiere for Salonen’s new orchestral piece.

In addition to Salonen himself, a number of guests will take to the stage, including star conductor Alan Gilbert, the long-time Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, and pop star Paula Vesala, current resident of Los Angeles, who also hosts the show.

At the end of the evening, the audience gets a glimpse of opera conductor Salonen as the concert climaxes with the coronation scene from the opera Boris Godunov, with the impressive Matti Salminen singing the title role.

Korvat Auki collective (Joel Järventausta, Touko Niemi, Matilda Seppälä, Lauri Supponen, Niilo Tarnanen): Massahumu
Heinrich Biber: Battalia
Alexander Mosolov: Iron Foundry
Maurice Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé, Suite no. 1

Paula Vesala: New work
Esa-Pekka Salonen: Pollux
Modest Musorgski: Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov

After the concert, the party continues with a birthday club in the foyer of Almi Hall. A super group composed of Tölöläb and Elifantree acts as the house band, with a programme including solo songs by Salonen and a free cosmic style inspired by them – and, of course, surprise numbers. Admission to the club is free.

Finnish National Opera, Main Stage

Helsinginkatu 58


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