Esa-Pekka Salonen

When you're a world-renowned conductor with an active composing career, free time can be hard to come by. "Most of the weekends in our family are nonexistent, because that's when I work," Salonen says. "My day off is Monday." Still, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's maestro manages to find time now and then to explore the best of the city with his wife, Jane, and their three children: Ella, 15; Anja, 14; and Oliver, 9.

PEACE OF MIND The beach is one of the best things about living in L.A. We come to Will Rogers State Beach quite often. It's fantastic. I often take my bike down there from our home in Brentwood. It's just great. If I have the time to actually ride the bike from our home, it's fabulous exercise. I don't compose at the beach -- I come here to clear my head.

GETTING WILD When my kids were little, we used to go to the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park. My son, Oliver, used to like to go and that makes for a great day out. I really enjoyed it. It's a very well-kept zoo. Oliver also loves going to the California Science Center in Exposition Park. That is something we do quite frequently with him.

ON THE TOWN There are a lot great restaurants where we live in Brentwood. We like Japanese cuisine and we go out for that a lot. But our all-time favorite is Vincenti, an Italian restaurant. That's the place we go to for important family events, birthdays or when Jane and I decide to treat ourselves.



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