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Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Colburn School Train a New Generation of Conductors

Esa-Pekka Salonen | Photo by the Colburn School

Last fall, it was announced that soon to be new music director of the San Francisco Symphony (and former LA Phil music director) Esa-Pekka Salonen would be heading a specialized program at the Colburn School. Designated as the Negaunee Conducting Program, Salonen will be leading a select group of students who will receive real world, hands on conducting instruction. Opportunities will include conducting the Zipper Outreach Orchestra and their flagship ensemble, the Colburn Orchestra. In addition, they will assist Salonen as he continues to music direct the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra. To help give each student as much podium time as possible, the program will be limited to three participants per year. The first class of students, known as Salonen Conducting Fellows, will start this coming fall.

On January 31st, Salonen will appear with the Colburn Orchestra at the Soraya Performing Arts Center in Northridge. He’ll be joined by current Colburn student, award-winning clarinetist Cristina Maria Sáez for a program featuring her on Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622. Also included are a duo works from Richard Strauss: the comic musical poem Til Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks and Also Sprach Zarathustra which was made famous in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Cristina Maria Sáez | Photo by Buffet-Crampon

To celebrate Salonen’s appointment to the conducting program and to cheer on the brilliant students of the Colburn School, you can purchase tickets to Jan 31st’s performance at To learn more about the Negaunee Conducting Program (and possibly apply for a future class!) visit

Written by:
Jennifer Miller Hammel
Jennifer Miller Hammel
Published on 04.01.2019