• WDCH
  • IVÁN FISCHER CONDUCTS DVORÁK'S EIGHTH SYMPHONY; GARRICK OHLSSON IS SOLOIST IN BARTÓK'S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 3
  • April 17, 2003
  • Thursday and Saturday, April 17 and 19, 8 PM; Friday, April 18, 1 PM

    Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in music by three preeminent musical "nationalists" -- his countrymen, Bartók and Dohnányi, and their Bohemian colleague, Dvorák -- in concerts on Thursday and Saturday, April 17 and 19 at 8 PM, and a Friday matinee on April 18 at 1 PM, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Dohnányi's rarely heard Symphonic Minutes opens the program. The award-winning American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is soloist in Bartók's Third -- and final --Piano Concerto. Dvorák's idyllic Symphony No. 8 is the concert finale.

    Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert event with radio personality Rich Capparella, takes place one hour before each performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall.

    Dohnányi's charming Symphonic Minutes of 1933 consists of five short movements: Capriccio, Rhapsodia, Scherzo, Tema con Variazione, and Rondo. Extravagantly celebrated as one of the world's premier composer/pianists during his lifetime, Dohnányi fell from public favor after his death in 1960, while the reputation of his friend and fellow student at the Budapest Academy, Bela Bartók, continued to rise. In recent years, performers and music lovers have begun to rediscover Dohnányi's contributions to the literature.

    Bartók wrote the Piano Concerto No. 3 for his wife Ditta in the summer of 1945 at Saranac Lake (New York), where the Bartóks were staying to afford the ailing composer a peaceful atmosphere and healthful climate. Bartók told his son Peter, "I'm working on a birthday present for your mother. A piano concerto for her own use. It's a surprise and you mustn't say anything to her about it." He had completed all but the final 17 bars before his death from leukemia in September. A former student, Tibor Serly, completed the final measures and the concerto was premiered on February 8, 1946.

    Dvorák's G major Eighth Symphony, composed in 1889, forms a lyric interlude between the tragedy of the Seventh and the grandeur of the "New World," and is by far the most cheerful and spontaneous-sounding of the composer's late symphonies. Iván Fischer has won wide acclaim for his recent recording of the work (paired with the Ninth Symphony) with his Budapest Festival Orchestra.

    Hungarian-born IVÁN FISCHER began his musical training as an instrumentalist, studying piano, violin, and cello in Budapest. He subsequently studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna and pursued his interest in early music working with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. His international career was launched when, at age 25, Fischer won the Rupert Foundation Conducting Competition and invitations to appear with all the leading British orchestras. In 1983, Fischer and pianist Zoltan Kocsis co-founded the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which quickly rose to prominence. Fischer has conducted his orchestra throughout Europe, America, and Japan. He has also been musical director of the Northern Sinfonia of England (1979 - 1982), Kent Opera (1984 - 1989), and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (1989 - 1996). Fischer is especially renowned for his performances of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Dvorák, Mahler, and Bartók. His musical activism stretches beyond the concert hall: he was a founder of the Hungarian Mahler Society together with the composer's granddaughter; he is the patron of the British Kodály Academy; and he has recently started recording the major Bartók works with the Budapest Festival Orchestra for Philips. In addition to concerts with his orchestra at home and on tour, Fischer's engagements this spring include conducting Verdi's Otello at the Opera National de Lyon and concerts with the Boston Symphony following his Los Angeles visit.

    Since winning the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, American pianist GARRICK OHLSSON has established himself as a musician of extraordinary interpretive power and technical facility. He performs virtually the entire piano literature and is especially noted for his interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. A native of White Plains, New York, Ohlsson began his piano studies at the age of eight and at 13 he entered The Juilliard School in New York City. His musical development was influenced by a succession of distinguished teachers, most notably Claudio Arrau, Olga Barabini, Tom Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévinne and Irma Wolpe. Although he won First Prizes at the 1966 Busoni Competition in Italy and 1968 Montreal Piano Competition, it was his 1970 triumph at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw -- where he won the Gold Medal -- that brought him worldwide recognition. Since that time, he has made nearly a dozen tours of Poland, where to this day he retains immense popularity. Ohlsson was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1994 and received the 1998 University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In addition to appearing as orchestral soloist and recital artist worldwide, Ohlsson is an avid chamber musician and a prolific recording artist. Last season he appeared in a Celebrity Series Recital (1/15/2002, replacing Argerich/Freire) at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    Thursday, April 17, 8 PM

    Friday, April 18, 1 PM

    Saturday, April 19, 8 PM

    IVÁN FISCHER, conductor

    GARRICK OHLSSON, piano

    DOHNÁNYI: Symphonic Minutes

    BARTÓK: Piano Concerto No. 3

    DVORÁK: Symphony No. 8

    Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert event with radio personality Rich Capparella, takes place one hour before each performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall.

    Tickets ($14 - $82) are on sale now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Tickets are also available on-line at www.laphil.com. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available two hours prior to the performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323.850.2047; Scalla Sheen, 323.850.2015