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Esa-Pekka Salonen Leads Debussy & Boulez

Thu May 8th, 2025 at 8:00PM

Walt Disney Concert Hall
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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As a teenage aspiring composer with a modernist ear, Esa-Pekka Salonen idolized composer and conductor Pierre Boulez and has become one of the biggest champions of his music. Salonen writes, It can be complex without ever losing its clarity, it can be aggressive or delicate, hypnotic or kaleidoscopically flickering, ritualistic or virtuosic. But most importantly, it is often hauntingly beautiful.

Salonen contrasts Boulez serialist voice with fellow French composer Debussys impressionisma pairing critic Mark Pullinger compared to glaring sunburst [and] smudgy haze or Monet and Jackson Pollock. Boulez solo piano Notations (each only 12 bars) flow into a version for orchestra that explodes the original musical idea with orchestral colors before being counterpointed by one of Debussys dreamy Images. Like Salonen, Boulez was a renowned conductor of Debussys music, and after intermission Salonen, leads two Debussy favorites: the Fantaisie with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the composers conversation between wind and wave, La mer.

Concerts in the Thursday 2 subscription series are generously supported by the Otis Booth Foundation.

Programs, artists, dates, prices, and availability subject to change.

135 N. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Get Directions)

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