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  • Soprano Christine Brewer Returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall in Final Colburn Celebrity Series Recital of the 2009/10 Season
  • Jun. 1, 2010
  • Pianist Craig Rutenberg Joins the Singer in his Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut

    TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010, AT 8 PM

    The Series is Endowed by a Generous Grant from the Colburn Foundation

    American soprano Christine Brewer returns to the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage in a recital of songs by a diverse lineup of composers, Tuesday, June 1, at 8 p.m. She is joined by pianist Craig Rutenberg making his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut. The Colburn Celebrity Series event is the final series performance of the LA Phil’s 2009/10 season.

    The recital begins with the aria “Divinités du Styx” from the opera Alceste, which was the second collaboration between Christoph Willibald Gluck and Italian poet/librettist Ranieri da Calzabigi. As with their first collaboration – Orfeo ed Euridice – Alceste is considered a “reform opera” and embodies many of the tenets of Enlightenment thought, including the creation of characters for whom the audience can have sympathy and compassion. The passionate aria takes place at the end of the first act in which Queen Alceste determines to sacrifice herself to save her husband’s life.

    Following in the program is Richard Wagner’s song cycle Wesendonck Lieder, written while the composer was in exile in Zurich. The intense relationship that developed between Wagner and Mathilde Wesendonck, the wife of his benefactor, led to her authorship of five passionate poems – “Der Engel” (The Angel), “Stehe still” (Stand still), “Im Treibhaus” (In the Greenhouse), “Schmerzen” (Sorrows), and “Träume” (Dreams) – which Wagner set for voice and piano.

    The next songs come from Austrian composer Joseph Marx, a romantic who followed in the footsteps of his predecessors Franz Schubert and Hugo Wolf. “Selige Nacht” is a setting of a poem by Otto Erich Hartleben, and “Hat dich die Liebe berührt” is another love song on a poem by Paul Heyse.

    Following the Marx songs – after intermission – are the Cabaret Songs by Benjamin Britten. Despite Britten’s contentious relationship with poet W.H. Auden, the two were able to produce compelling works including this set of four songs – “Calypso,” “Johnny,” “Tell me the truth about love,” and “Funeral Blues” – the texts of which are a product of the times Auden enjoyed in the early 1930s cabaret nightlife of Berlin.

    The program continues with three arrangements; the first, “Ye Banks and Braes,” arranged by Roger Quilter, is based on a text by Robert Burns set to a melody by Charles Miller in 1788; next is “The Salley Gardens,” a poem by W.B. Yeats arranged by Britten and published in 1943; and “The Leprechaun” arranged by Herbert Hughes concludes the set.

    The program closes with Echoes of Nightingales, featuring Ms. Brewer paying tribute to predecessors such as Helen Traubel, Kirsten Flagstad, Eileen Farrell and Eleanor Steber. The works, by composers Sidney Homer, Edwin MacArthur, Paul Sargent, Frank Bridge, Idabelle Firestone and Frank LaForge, form a compilation of songs with which those songstresses were associated and, with the exception of Bridge’s work, represent American song writing in the first half of the 20th century.

    Christine Brewer last performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall in November of 2008, in a program led by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. The Sunday Times (London) says of her, “The finest singing I heard last week came from the lustrous throat of the American soprano Christine Brewer, who pinned us all to our seats …she was simply devastating in the spiritual arrangements, singing with all her heart and soul and the sultriest vocal allure of any U.S. soprano since the great African-American diva Leontyne Price...”

    Pianist Craig Rutenberg, “whose playing ranged from sterling directness to expansive beauty,” (San Francisco Chronicle) has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest vocalists and is recognized as one of the most distinguished accompanists on the stage today.

    The performance concludes the 2009/10 Colburn Celebrity recitals, which present virtuoso performances by world-renowned artists.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable locations anywhere to experience music – Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational concerts, children's programming and community concerts, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010, at 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Colburn Celebrity Series



    GLUCK Divinités du Styx from Alceste

    WAGNER Wesendonck Lieder

    MARX “Selige Nacht”

    MARX “Hat dich die Liebe berührt”

    BRITTEN Cabaret Songs

    Arr. QUILTER “Ye Banks and Braes”

    Arr. BRITTEN “The Salley Gardens”

    Arr. HUGHES “The Leprechaun”

    VARIOUS Echoes of Nightingales

    This series is endowed by a generous grant from the Colburn Foundation.

    Tickets ($17 - $95) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Series, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034