The Philharmonia Orchestra has extended Esa-Pekka Salonen’s contract as its principal conductor and artistic advisor until the end of the 2016-17 season. Salonen will also mark 30 years of conducting the orchestra with a special anniversary concert at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on September 29. His tenure as principal conductor began in 2008.
‘It's surprising and rather wonderful to realise that I've known these musicians for a quarter of a century,’ said Salonen. ‘A long-term relationship can sometimes become a little too comfortable, but what I enjoy about performing with the Philharmonia today as much as in 1983 is the sheer exhilarating unpredictability: discovering new dimensions to familiar music together, pushing them to take yet further risks and watching them respond, and exploring other works for the first time. I'd like to say that we've grown up together, but the reality is that we still feel extremely youthful in each other's company.’
During his time with the orchestra Salonen has conducted more than 350 concerts, including four world premieres, and has made 27 recordings. His tenure has also seen a number of technical innovations, including the orchestra’s first live webcast, and digital classical music installations, RE-RITE and Universe of Sound.