LIVE from the NYPL: Frank Gehry in conversation with Barbara Isenberg & Alex Ross

May 11, 2009

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Los Angeles conquers New York as two towering California artists, the architect Frank Gehry and the composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, discuss their work.

Frank Gehry is a transformative figure in the world of architecture. His Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has been called "the world's most celebrated new building" by The New York Times, and his Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles, is considered both a visual and an acoustical masterpiece. Projects from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi are in the works or preparing to open. Having recently celebrated his eightieth birthday, Gehry talks to Barbara Isenberg, author of Conversations with Frank Gehry, and New Yorker music critic Alex Ross about his art of moving forms.

Once in a while an orchestra is lucky enough to form a partnership with a conductor who not only leads great performances but becomes a shaping force in music history. Since 1992, the brilliant Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen has made the Los Angeles Philharmonic the most interesting orchestra in America; since 2003, Disney Hall has been his musical home. Fresh from his final concert as LA's music director, Salonen talks to Alex Ross about his tenure in LA, his friendship with Gehry, Stravinsky, Radiohead, his own works, and the future of music.

About Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry's architectural career has spanned five decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe, and Asia. Notable projects include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; the DZ Bank Building in Berlin; Nationale- Nederlanden Building in Prague; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. Projects under construction include the Beekman Residential Tower located in New York City, which will be Gehry's first high rise building to be completed.

About Barbara Isenberg

Barbara Isenberg is the author of Conversations with Frank Gehry, which reflects her interviews with the architect over the past 20 years. Other books include Making It Big: The Diary of a Broadway Musical and State of the Arts: California Artists Talk About Their Work. Founder and host of the Getty Center's Art Matters public interviews, she is currently Associate Director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California.

About Alex Ross

Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. From 1992 to 1996 he wrote for The New York Times. His first book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, won a National Book Critics Circle Award and was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008 he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

About Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen, Finnish conductor and composer, is Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a position he will hold until summer 2009. He was recently appointed Principal Conductor of London's Philharmonia and began his tenure in September 2008. Salonen is renowned for his interpretations of contemporary music and has given countless premieres of new as well as his own works. He has led critically acclaimed festivals of music by Berlioz, Ligeti, Schönberg, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky and Magnus Lindberg. His own orchestral works include Foreign Bodies, Insomnia, Wing on Wing, and Helix.

Photos of Frank Gehry by Melissa Majchrzak, Barbara Isenberg by Patricia Williams, Esa-Pekka Salonen by Nicho S?dling, and Alex Ross by David Michalek