Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen Returns To Los Angeles Philharmonic to Honor Witold Lutoslawski

By O'Jay Burgess on Nov 16, 2012 04:57 PM EST

Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to take command of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Lutoslawski Centenary's opening night on Nov. 30 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The event will go from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9 and honors the life of Polish musician Witold Lutoslawski.

Salonen pays tribute to the pianist on the night by leading the orchestra through Lutoslawski's "Symphony No. 1," and "Fanfare for the Los Angeles Philharmonic." These two pieces are sandwiched between Beethoven's "King Stephen Overture" and "Symphony No. 2."

A recipient of the Order of the White Eagle Poland's highest honor, Witold Lutoslwaski was born into nobility in Poland in 1915. His family owned estates in the area of Drozdowo in Poland in which he frequently stayed. Growing up in war-torn Europe his native Poland was at the middle conflict in World War I and saw him move around most notably to Russia.

After a newly independent Poland was established Lutoslwaski returned to his homeland where he studied the piano and composited at the Warsaw before enlisting in secondary school 1924. Three years later Lutoslwaski found himself studying as a part-time student at the Warsaw Conservatory.

Some of his earliest pieces revolve around Polish folk music. Although regarded as mainly a cabaret pianist, the Pole was a conductor and composer  who was involved in a number of symphonies and forming his own string quartet.

His relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic began in 1993 a year before his death. Lutoslawski composed and conducted for the orchestra. The Polish maestro was well travelled and orchestras around the wold include his works in their repertoire. He's regarded by some as one of the greatest pianist.

Lutoslawski Cello Concerto 1- Nicolas Altstaedt

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