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Salonen to become San Francisco Symphony music director

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Esa-Pekka Salonen will become music director of the San Francisco Symphony starting with the 2020-21 season. He will succeed Michael Tilson Thomas, who ends his 25-year tenure following the 2019-20 season.

Salonen, a 60-year-old Finn who also composes, was given the immediate title of music director designate, the orchestra said Wednesday. He has a five-year contract as music director, will lead six subscription weeks and an Asia tour in his first season, then will conduct 12-to-14 weeks annually.

Salonen was principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1984-95 and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1992-2009. He has been principal conductor and artistic adviser for London's Philharmonia since 2008-09, a role that orchestra said Monday will end following the 2020-21 season.

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