Just Plain Ugly

I just received an e-mail from the NY Phil encouraging me to buy tickets to some upcoming concert:


Now, we’ll put aside the fact that I have never been to a NY Phil concert and that I don’t live anywhere near New York — that’s hardly the point.  The point is, what is with that butt-ugly picture of Esa-Pekka Salonen?  I didn’t even know that it was possible to photograph the man in an unflattering light.  He looks like he’s staring into the blinding sun while a skunk gets a little too friendly with his right leg.

I had thought the man was eternally youthful.  Evidence:




And now this?


What gives?  Is he trying out some new “ugly” look?  Where did those wrinkles come from all of a sudden?  Maybe he thinks that now that he’s a slightly-more-full-time composer, it’s expected that he not be quite so pretty any more.

If he keeps writing music like this, he can be as ugly as he wants:


(Helix played by the LA Phil)

Also, celebrate the man while the gettin’s good!  (I can’t wait to see what kind of web site they come up with for Dudamel’s first season.)