Esa-Pekka Salonen, SF Symphony, and Violinist Lisa Batiashvili to Launch California Tour

Salonen, Batiashvili, and the Orchestra perform at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa on March 20.

By: Feb. 09, 2024
Esa-Pekka Salonen, SF Symphony, and Violinist Lisa Batiashvili to Launch California Tour

Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony, along with violinist Lisa Batiashvili, embark on a three-concert Southern California tour March 20–22. Salonen, Batiashvili, and the Orchestra perform at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa on March 20, presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County; Palm Desert’s McCallum Theatre at the College of the Desert on March 21, presented by Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic; and Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall on March 22, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.  
In Costa Mesa and Palm Desert, Salonen conducts a program of works by the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, including Finlandia, the Violin Concerto with Batiashvili as soloist, and Symphony No. 1. In Los Angeles, Salonen pairs Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with John Adams’s Naïve and Sentimental Music. San Francisco audiences will have the opportunity to preview the all-Sibelius program featuring Batiashvili in concerts March 14–16 at Davies Symphony Hall. 
“It’s exciting for me to take my new band to the Walt Disney Concert Hall,” said Salonen. “And especially in a Sibelius program, which for a Finnish conductor is a bit of an obvious thing to do, but I don’t think I’ve ever conducted a Sibelius-only program in my life. What's especially inspiring is that we’re going to be collaborating with the great violinist Lisa Batiashvili. I’m really looking forward to this.” 
These performances mark Salonen’s first California tour with the San Francisco Symphony.  

About Esa-Pekka Salonen 

Esa-Pekka Salonen is known as both a composer and conductor. He is the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, where he works alongside eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of disciplines, ranging from composers to roboticists. He is the Conductor Laureate of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the faculty of the Colburn School, he directs the pre-professional Negaunee Conducting Program. Salonen co-founded, and until 2018 served as the Artistic Director of, the annual Baltic Sea Festival. 
Beginning with the Opening Night Gala, Salonen leads the San Francisco Symphony in twelve weeks of programming in the 2023–24 season. Highlights include world premieres from Jesper Nordin, Anders Hillborg, and Jens Ibsen; projects by Collaborative Partners Pekka Kuusisto and Carol Reiley; the launch of the inaugural California Festival; a tour of southern California; and a program of Ravel and Schoenberg featuring choreography by Alonzo King and staging by Peter Sellars
He also conducts many of his own works around the world this season. Among them are Tiu, a new work commemorating the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall, premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Karawane, also with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; his Sinfonia Concertante for Organ and Orchestra with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra; and kínēma with the San Francisco Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra. 
Salonen has an extensive and varied recording career. Releases with the San Francisco Symphony include recordings of Bartók’s piano concertos, as well as spatial audio recordings of several Ligeti compositions. Other recent recordings include Strauss’s Four Last Songs, Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin and Dance Suite, and a 2018 box set of his complete Sony recordings. His compositions appear on releases from the Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, and Decca labels; his Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, and Cello Concerto all appear on recordings he conducted himself. 

About Lisa Batiashvili 

Lisa Batiashvili is a Georgian-born German violinist. This season she takes up residency with the Berlin Philharmonic and performs with the Munich Philharmonic and Netherlands Philharmonic. She tours with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and cellist Gautier Capuçon, including a San Francisco Symphony Great Performers Series recital last October. Recent appearances include the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Vienna Philharmonic as a featured artist at the Vienna Konzerthaus. She made her SF Symphony debut in January 2006. 
Recording exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, Ms. Batiashvili’s latest album, Secret Love Letters, was released in August 2022 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The 2020 recording City Lights takes a musical journey to 11 cities, and a 12th city was added in 2022 with the release of her single Desafinado, celebrating Rio de Janeiro. Her discography also includes Visions of Prokofiev, which won an Opus Klassik Award and was shortlisted for the 2018 Gramophone Awards. 
Ms. Batiashvili has won the MIDEM Classical Award, Choc de l’année, Accademia Musicale Chigiana International Prize, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival’s Leonard Bernstein Award, and Beethoven Ring. She was named Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2015, was nominated as Gramophone’s Artist of the Year in 2017, and in 2018 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. 
In 2021 she founded the Lisa Batiashvili Foundation, which supports the careers of young, highly talented Georgian musicians. She lives in Berlin and plays a Guarneri “del Gesù” violin from 1739, generously loaned by a private collector.