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Esa-Pekka Salonen moves on, not so smoothly

December 12, 2009 | 11:00 am

EPS Esa-Pekka Salonen got rave reviews this month and last in New York for his appearances at the Metropolitan Opera and for guest-conducting the New York Philharmonic in 20th century music. He has had significant success this year with a series focusing on progressive early 20th century Viennese music with his London orchestra, the Philharmonia. He is much in demand as a composer and conductor. 

The world is beginning to better understand what L.A. knew for a long time. And now, after 17 years at the helm of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he is a free man and the world is his oyster.

Sort of.

Recently, I met with Salonen in New York. All the leaves were brown and the sky was gray. He wasn’t necessarily California dreamin’. He’s moved on to a new phase in his life. But he did confess in an interview  to be published in Sunday's Arts & Books section that the transition, and his family’s move to London, has been rockier than he anticipated.

-- Mark Swed

Photo: Esa-Pekka Salonen in the Grand Foyer of the Metropolitan Opera. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times