Skip to Content
Total duration 2 h
1 intermission (25 min)
1 performance
Main Stage
28–109 €
Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paula Vesala, Alan Gilbert, Matti Salminen, the Orchestra and Choir of FNOB

There is plenty of cause for celebration: Helsinki Festival turns 50 and Esa-Pekka Salonen turns 60! The most successful Finnish conductor on the international level needs no introduction. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Finnish National Opera as well as guest stars help to demonstrate the different aspects of the artistic persona of composer-conductor Salonen. Along the way, they ponder what it means to be a Finnish artist in the world.

Live stream on Fri 17 August


Watch the concert for free

Watch the live stream on Friday 17 August at 8 pm. The live stream is a co-production of Yle and FNOB.

Set the stage in your living room and enjoy the concert of the year.


The birthday concert opens with the Korvat auki Society for Contemporary Music, which Salonen had a hand in founding in 1977. The new work by young and fearless contemporary composers is inclusive and surprising: can a composition take on new life during the performance with the help of social media?

The concert is also the Finnish premiere for Salonen’s new orchestral piece. In addition to Salonen himself, a number of guests will take to the stage, including star conductor Alan Gilbert, the long-time Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, and pop star Paula Vesala, current resident of Los Angeles, who also hosts the show.

At the end of the evening, the audience gets a glimpse of opera conductor Salonen as the concert climaxes with the coronation scene from the opera Boris Godunov, with the impressive Matti Salminen singing the title role.


Boris Godunov

Korvat Auki collective (Joel Järventausta, Touko Niemi, Matilda Seppälä, Lauri Supponen, Niilo Tarnanen): Massahumu
Heinrich Biber: Battalia
Alexander Mosolov: Iron Foundry
Esa-Pekka Salonen: Pollux

Paula Vesala: New work
Maurice Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé, Suite no. 1
Modest Musorgski: Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov

After the concert, the party continues with a birthday club in the foyer of Almi Hall. A super group composed of Tölölab and Elifantree acts as the house band, with a programme including solo songs by Salonen and a free cosmic style inspired by them – and, of course, surprise numbers. Admission to the club is free.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s music and technology fund

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Congratulate Esa-Pekka!

Support future talents by donating to Esa-Pekka’s new music and technology fund.

Donate via bank transfer

The Finnish National Opera and Ballet Support Foundation:
FI 43 8179 9710 0447 83

Reference: Esa-Pekka Salonen’s fund

Mäntymäki field parking not in use 17–19 August, 2018

The paid parking on Mäntymäki field is not in use from 17 to 19 August due to a local event. If you plan to arrive at the Opera House by car, please allow extra time for parking.

It’s easiest, however, to use public transport, bike or taxi.

Performances and tickets

2 h
1 intermission (25 min)
1 performance
Main Stage
28–109 €

Order refreshments online

Afternoon Tea

Sweet and savoury treats

Choose your favourite refreshments from this season’s tasty menu. You can easily add refreshments to your shopping basket while selecting tickets in our online store.

The services of the Opera Restaurant are available before performances and during the interval. Order beforehand and avoid the queues.

Please note that we cannot guarantee a specific table for orders made via the online store. We may also seat several parties at the same table. You may be assigned a bar height table for enjoying refreshments standing up.