Tomorrow night the Ann Arbor Philharmonia Orchestra will be performing Stravinsky’s Firebird and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto under the direction of Salonen’s own baton. Salonen is a Finnish conductor and composer who is the current principal conductor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. His performances Tuesday and Wednesday nights mark his debut with the University Musical Society and both shows will feature different pieces. The Wednesday night performance will be featuring Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. I chose the Tuesday night performance due to my own musical history. I played cello for 5 years in middle and high school with my local youth orchestra with one of our many performances featuring an excerpt from the Firebird ballet. I am eager to see this piece performed live for the first time and hear Salonen’s take on the piece. However, I am even more curious to hear Salonen’s cello concerto which is being performed by Truls Mork, a Norwegian cellist. Salonen wrote this piece under commission by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with its premiere being performed by world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. I’m excited to see what Mork and the Ann Arbor Philharmonia Orchestra bring to this piece!