tHe concert

Opening the 2017/18 season, Esa-Pekka Salonen places the work of two contemporary Icelandic composers alongside these two momentous works by Sibelius.

Cast with light and shade, Symphony No.6 emerges upwards from melodies forged out of a single stepwise motion: music of ‘pure cold water’, held Sibelius. For his Seventh, Sibelius crosses his entire symphonic landscape in a single movement, one idea generating another, expressing the ‘joy of life and vitality’.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Aeriality occupies the border between symphony and sound art, capturing in a world of clustering textures the feeling of gliding through the air with nothing or little to hold on to. Alongside, the UK premiere of Daníel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto, a composer who Time Out New York have described as ‘coming eerily close to defining classical music’s undefinable brave new world’.


esa-pekka salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. This season is his second of three as the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, and his first of five years as Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. Additionally, Salonen is Artistic Director and cofounder of the annual Baltic Sea Festival, now in its fourteenth year, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.


pekka kuusisto

Pekka Kuusisto (b. 1976 in Finland) is a world famous violinist with a personal sound. He began studying the violin at the age of three and in 1995 he became the first Finnish violinist to win the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition and he was awarded the special price for the best performance of Jean Sibelius' violin concerto.

Philharmonia Orchestra – Esa-Pekka Salonen: Sibelius 

28 September 2017 | 7.30 pm
Southbank Centre | Auditorium, Royal Festival Hall
Tickets £11 - £55

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra place Sibelius alongside two contemporary Icelandic composers.


Philharmonia Orchestra

Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor

Pekka Kuusisto violin



Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Iceland) 

Sibelius (Finland)
Symphony No.6


Daníel Bjarnason (Iceland)
Violin Concerto (UK premiere)

Sibelius (Finland)
Symphony No.7


Read Andrew Mellor's article about the concert in our programme.

Esa-Pekka Salonen. Photo: Minna Hatinen

Esa-Pekka Salonen. Photo: Minna Hatinen