• Nov. 22, 2002

    Fourth Concert of the Philharmonic's
    Community and Neighborhood Concert Series

    In November, violinist Midori makes a rare appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, performing a free Neighborhood Concert in Los Angeles. The concert takes place at Wilshire United Methodist Church, located at 4350 Wilshire Blvd. (at Plymouth) on Friday, November 22 at 8 p.m. The evening's program includes Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto and selections from Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird. The performance is free and open to the public. For information or directions, call 323.931.1085.

    Samuel Barber began composing his Violin Concerto, originally commissioned in 1939 by a Philadelphia soap tycoon, during a trip to Switzerland that year. The work, which had its premiere in early 1941 performed by Albert Spaulding, with The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy, is a three-movement work of profound nostalgia for European Romanticism.

    Written in 1909 and 1910, Igor Stravinsky's ballet, The Firebird, was his first work for the Ballet Russes, the famed Russian company that danced the premiere at the Paris Opera in June of the latter year. The piece changed his life; it was his first large-scale commission and his first great international artistic success. Its overwhelming popularity immediately guaranteed its inclusion in the ballet repertoire and, for better or for worse, tied the composer's musical future to the fortunes of the Ballet Russes, for which he wrote several more works over the next two decades.

    The Philharmonic's Director of Community Affairs Leni Boorstin commented, "We are always happy to bring the gift of music free to Angelenos through our Neighborhood concerts." "We at Wilshire United are always enthusiastic about presenting music as part of our ministry and I know that our congregation and the public always look forward to visits from the Los Angeles Philharmonic," said Pastor Earl Thompson.

    Neighborhood Concerts are made possible, in part, by a generous grant from Target Corporation. Additional funding is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Foundations and Morgan Stanley. The California Arts Council, a State agency, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department also support these programs.

    For general information about the Los Angeles Philharmonic or future concerts, please call 323.850.2000.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, eight critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world's most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

    In the 2002-03 season, violinist MIDORI celebrates her 20th year of performing. Her schedule, balanced between recitals with Robert McDonald and appearances with the most prestigious symphonic ensembles, takes her to the great concert stages of Europe, North America, and the Far East. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Midori & Friends, the non-profit organization Midori founded to bring free music instruction programs throughout the school year to thousands of children who need them. This fall, Sony Classical releases her latest recording, French Violin Sonatas, featuring sonatas by Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, and Camille Saint-Saƫns, with pianist Robert McDonald. Midori's appearances this season include performances with the major symphony orchestras of Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. In 2001, she received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Born in Osaka, Japan, she began studying the violin at a very early age; she currently resides in New York City.


    November 22, 8:00 PM

    Neighborhood Concert

    Wilshire United Methodist Church

    4350 Wilshire Blvd. (at Plymouth) in Los Angeles


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    MIDORI, violin

    Program to include:

    Barber: Violin Concerto

    Stravinsky: Suite from The Firebird (compiled by Esa-Pekka Salonen)

    The performance is free and open to the public. The public is encouraged to call 323.931.1085 in advance to arrange their free tickets. Priority seating will be given to ticket holders who arrive early. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. for ticket holders. Seating for those without tickets, IF THERE IS SPACE AVAILABLE will begin at 7:45 p.m. Secure parking is available at the Los Angeles Scottish Rite Temple (across Wilshire from the church) for a $5 fee. For information or directions, call 323.931.1085.

    # # #

  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; Melanie Gravdal, 323/850-2021