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By Culturekiosque Staff

PARIS, 3 FEBRUARY 2011 — To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Festival Présences Paris has invited Esa-Pekka Salonen as composer and conductor. The Festival Présences was founded in 1991 as a festival exclusively  devoted to contemporary music. In the past 20 years it has presented a vast number of new works by many of the most important composers of the 20th and 21st century to a varied and passionate audience and enabled the creation of numerous new scores. And while admission is free, festival-goers arrive early in order to cut down on queue time.

In a cycle of 13 free concerts between 3 and 19 February 2011 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in central Paris, the festival will focus on Salonen’s compositions and perform all of his main works. Hence the festival will be the biggest one-time exposure of any Nordic composer in Paris.

In four concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France Salonen himself will be conducting several of his compositions such as his new orchestral work and Dona Nobis Pacem for unaccompanied children's chorus as well as other significant works of the 20th century such as the Requiem by Ligeti, Amériques by Varèse and D'om Le Vrai Sens by Kaija Saariaho. Guest ensembles include l’orchestre Les Siècles, l’Avanti ! Chamber Orchestra, Accroche Note and L’Itinéraire.

In a press announcement Esa-Pekka Salonen commented: "I’m looking forward to the 20th Présences Festival with great excitement but also with humility, well aware of the tremendous history of the festival. Présences is indeed unique among the world’s music festivals with its bold and beautifully utopian concept of new music and free concerts. In a time when national radio companies in Europe and the whole public service idea are increasingly under attack from populist politicians and commercial media it is very inspiring to see the unwavering commitment of Radio France for complex, artistically very demanding projects such as my residency at the Présences Festival this year. I am very impressed and also deeply grateful. I cannot imagine a greater honor and acknowledgment as a musician."

In April 2009 Esa-Pekka Salonen's 17-year tenure as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's longest-serving Music Director culminated  with a series of concerts featuring five world premieres, including his own violin concerto.

Festival Présences 2011 Website

Théâtre du Châtelet
1 place du Châtelet
75001 Paris
Tel: (33) 01 40 28 28 00

Related Culturekiosque Archives 

Opera Review: Ligeti's Grand Macabre (Salonen conducting)

CD Review: Saariaho: L'Amour de loin (Salonen conducting)

Television Review: Paris, the Luminous Years

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