The famous Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts today in Paris his «Sinfonia concertante for organ and orchestra».
A few years ago, organists Iveta Apkalna and Olivier Latry separately approached the famous Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen to write an organ concerto for them. It was no mistake: Salonen began his musical career as a composer and became a conductor because his fellow composers needed one, and Salonen proved to be an enormous talent: he quickly carved out a career, especially on the West Coast of the United States, where he spent 17 years at the helm of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1992-2009), and since 2020 he conducts the San Francisco Orchestra.
When Apkalna and Latry made the request, he wanted to satisfy both of them and decided to write the Sinfonia concertante for organ and orchestra to be shared by these two titans of the organ world. The world premiere of the work took place in the Polish city of Katowice on 13 January with Iveta Apkalna and conducted by Salonen, in a concert to inaugurate the new organ in the Concert Hall of the NOSPR (National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio). It was then performed again on 19 January at the Berlin Philharmonic, where he is composer-in-residence for the 2022-2023 season, and today, 25 January, the Orchestre de Paris is performing it again under Salonen, with Olivier Latry as organ soloist. Iveta Apkalna will be the soloist on 11 May at the Elbe Philharmonic in Hamburg, and a week later, on 18 May, at the LA Phil. Olivier Latry will conduct the last performance in Helsinki with the FRSO in an upcoming season.