French festival Présences focuses on Esa-Pekka Salonen
The contemporary music festival of Radio France, Présences, will focus this year on Esa-Pekka Salonen's works. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the festival will host a vast cycle of concerts at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris from 3 to 19 February. The orchestral concerts will be played by Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, and four of the concerts are also conducted by the composer himself.
The festival is composed of 13 concerts, presenting all of Esa-Pekka Salonen's main works from the much played orchestral works like L. A. Variations to more than 20 works not previously heard in France. Two new works have been commissioned by Radio France for the festival, including a work for children's choir titled Dona nobis pacem, and a 20-minute work for orchestra to be premiered at the festival's final concert. Altogether, the festival will be the biggest one-time exposure of any Nordic composer in Paris.
In addition to Salonen's own works, the programme includes works by György Ligeti, Anders Hillborg, and other composers. Also the French premiere of Kaija Saariaho's clarinet concerto D'om le vrai sens is included. Saariaho's clarinet concerto will feature Finnish clarinettist Kari Kriikku, and other Finnish musicians have been invited to perform Salonen's works; the list includes, for example, Avanti! Chamber orchestra, sopranos Anu and Piia Komsi, and mezzo soprano Virpi Räisänen-Midth.
Merja Hottinen / Fimic
1 February, 2011