Tom and I welcome everyone here this evening for a night we knew would eventually come, but one we always hoped we could postpone a little longer.
We are gathered here because of our love of music, to express our great appreciation to Esa-Pekka and Jane, and to celebrate of the profound power of Esa-Pekka's music that inspires us to seek our true and better selves.
For each of us, Esa-Pekka, you have created moments of magic and brilliance that are seared in our memory. I remember where I was sitting on the grand opening night for Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in New York, for the debut of your piano concerto, and then Paris, for the Sibelius festival that many of us had the privilege to hear. I could go on and on.
Thank you, thank you, for showing us how to touch new sounds, and hear new shapes and colors that we never thought existed, until you created them.
Your 17 years as our music director have been a major factor in the cultural ascendancy of Los Angeles. It was the confidence in your vision for the Los Angeles Philharmonic that helped motivate our civic leadership to raise the money and build our magnificent concert hall.
With remarkable and stalwart grace and style, you and Jane have captured our hearts and left an enduring imprint on Los Angeles. We extend to you both a standing invitation to return to visit your Los Angeles home base where you will forever be welcomed with open arms.
But tonight is not good bye, tonight is Hyv