- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Esa-Pekka Salonen says he’ll return Europe and focus on composing after taking his final bow as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The 50-year-old Finn got standing ovations Sunday at Walt Disney Concert Hall as he ended a 17-year tenure that elevated the orchestra’s international standing. Before the Igor Stravinsky program, Salonen was named its first “conductor laureate.”

The show, his 973rd concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, concluded his stint as its longest-serving director. Venezuela native Gustavo Dudamel, 28, will take over in the fall with a free concert Oct. 3 at the Hollywood Bowl.

Salonen praised the boisterous Dudamel, saying he admires him “as a conductor, as a musician, and as a person.”

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On the Net:

http://www.celebratesalonen.com/

http://www.esapekkasalonen.com/

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