Esa-Pekka Salonen’s final season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is called Celebrate Salonen, and Classical KUSC 91.5 FM has taken that mission to heart. The nation’s largest non-profit classical music radio station has planned a series of broadcasts celebrating Salonen’s 17- year tenure with the orchestra.
Included in KUSC’s programming lineup are a new documentary about the career and influence of the LA Phil’s longest-serving music director, live broadcasts of Salonen’s penultimate and final concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the re-broadcast of the music director’s U.S. conducting premiere with the LA Phil in 1984.
After those special programs, a new LA Phil broadcast season (with concerts from 2008-2009) begins on Sun., April 26, with Salonen conducting music of Falla, Debussy, and Ravel. Brian Lauritzen will be the new sole host and producer, as Program Director Gail Eichenthal, who began hosting LA Phil radio broadcasts at KUSC in 1978, turns over the mic.
Sun., April 5, 4 p.m. (repeat broadcast Sun., April 19, 4 p.m.)
“E-P in LA: Reinventing the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” a two-hour documentary on Salonen’s tenure as music director of the LA Phil, features interviews with Salonen and some of his closest collaborators such as Frank Gehry, Peter Sellars, Deborah Borda, Ernest Fleischmann, and LA Phil musicians. Documentary host and producer Lauritzen has also included recordings of LA Phil concerts.
Sat., April 11, 8 p.m.
Hear a live broadcast of Salonen’s penultimate concert, in which violinist Leila Josefowicz performs the world premiere of Salonen’s Violin Concerto. The LA Phil also plays Ligeti’s “Clocks and Clouds” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Eichenthal and Lauritzen co-host.
Sun., April 12, 4 p.m.
Go back in time for Salonen’s U.S. conducting debut. As guest conductor with the LA Phil in 1984, Salonen led a program featuring Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, and the West Coast Premiere of Lutoslawski’s Symphony No. 3. A younger Eichenthal was the host.
Sun., April 19, 2 p.m.
Salonen’s final concert will also be broadcast live from Disney Hall. The LA Master Chorale joins the orchestra for a semi-staged version of Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex” as well as Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms,” with Peter Sellars directing. Eichenthal and Lauritzen co-host.
(At 4 p.m., catch a repeat broadcast of KUSC’s documentary “E-P in LA: Reinventing the Los Angeles Philharmonic.”)
For more information, www.kusc.org.