The winners of the awards are featured prominently each year in the Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts, a widely used industry reference.
Also honored were Osvaldo Golijov, the composer of Ainadamar, Ayre, and other works, as composer of the year; pianist Earl Wild, who celebrated his 90th birthday this year, as instrumentalist of the year; tenor Rolando Villaz‹n as vocalist of the year; and Ensemble Intercontemporain, the new-music group founded 30 years ago by Pierre Boulez, as ensemble of the year.
The music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1993, Salonen has achieved that holy grail of classical music: attracting new audiences with contemporary music and imaginative presenation. Since the orchestra's new Walt Disney Hall opened three years ago, Musical America said in a press release, "the combination of Salonen's innovative programming and the orchestra's spectacular new home has revolutionized Los Angeles concert life." He is also the composer of LA Variations and other works.