Salonen’s Violin Concerto Wins 2012 Grawemeyer

Composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto has won the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. This year’s award is $100,000.

Salonen’s Violin Concerto was selected from among 165 entries. When making the announcement, award director Marc Satterwhite described the four-movement, half-hour concerto by noting that “the piece is eclectic in its influences but has a distinct personality all its own.”

Salonen, 53, principal conductor and artistic advisor for the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, was music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 17 years. He conducted the first performance of the Violin Concerto himself at one of his final concerts with the Los Angeles orchestra in 2009.

American violinist Leila Josefowicz reportedly inspired Salonen’s winning work and presented its premiere. Josefowicz and the Finnish National Radio Symphony will record the piece for commercial release in May.

University of Louisville presents four Grawemeyer Awards each year for outstanding works in music composition, world order, psychology, and education. The university and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary jointly give a fifth award in religion.

(—from the press release)

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