Contemporary composition has never looked so cool thanks to Finnish composer’s ad for Apple.

Apple have featured Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen in a new campaign highlighting how its apps can be of benefit to music professionals. In a few short days the advert has natched up over 300,000 views on YouTube.

In the commercial, Salonen, who was the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1992 to 2009, can be seen working on his Violin Concerto which premiered there in his final season at Walt Disney Hall.

The novelty of seeing a contemporary classical composer in a piece of mainstream advertising has drawn positive comments all round, with special mention being made of the sheer quality of the film work and its synchronisation with the soundtrack. Alex Ross in The New York Times called it "a smooth, elegant piece of work", adding that "many composers will be pleased at the sight of Salonen’s mass-market breakthrough. Very simply, it says: We exist."

"The Orchestra is a new app from Touch Press that will delight anyone with even a passing interest in classical music," say iTunes in their promo material. In the app, Salonen, a long-time Apple enthusiast, conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in extended extracts from eight works representing three centuries of symphonic music. 

Interactive features include real-time selection of multiple video and audio tracks, along with an automatically synchronised score and dynamic graphical note-by-note visualisation of each piece as it is played. "The result is an immersive environment for exploring the music and all the instruments of the orchestra," say Apple.

Othe features of The Orchestra include commentaries on every piece from both the conductor and the players, information on the composers, the works, and the intstruments and their role in the orchestra, and interactive video playback that allows complete real-time control of the iPad.

The Orchestra is available from the iTunes App Store for $12.99 AUD