Skip to page content
  • WDCH
  • THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC KICKS OFF CELEBRATION HONORING MOZART'S 250th BIRTHDAY AND FIRST NIGHTS SERIES AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
  • Nov. 4, 2005
  • Conductor Vladimir Jurowski Leads Orchestra in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466 with Pianist Lars Vogt; Harvard University Professor Dr. Thomas Forrest Kelly Offers Insight and Perspective

    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2005, AT 8 PM

    The First Nights series is generously supported by the James Irvine Foundation.

    Launching its commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the third consecutive year of its First Nights concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466, under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, with pianist Lars Vogt, on Friday, November 4, at 8 p.m. The evening's program also features speaker Harvard University music professor Dr. Thomas Forrest Kelly, guiding the audience with insights into Mozart's creative genius and one of his most beloved piano concertos.

    The innovative First Nights series, designed for newcomers to the world of symphonic music, blends theater, music or multimedia presentations to recreate the historical, political and cultural context surrounding the premieres of landmark works. First Nights - co-created by Kelly, also an acclaimed author, in collaboration with Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen - is based on the professor's popular Harvard University course.

    Mozart composed Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 446, during the height of his popularity in Vienna, and the work provides insight into his methods as a composer, as a performer and as a businessman trying to make a career in music during the last decades of the 18th century. The piece also demonstrates the increasing importance of the concerto during this period as a genre for composers' most personal and profound musical expressions.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's additional presentations celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday at Walt Disney Concert Hall include three symphonies performed by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under the baton of maestro John Eliot Gardiner on January 14, and Toyota Symphonies for Youth: Mozart's Birthday Party on January 28, and February 11. On February 23, 24 and 25, maestro Christoph von Dohnányi conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with pianist Andreas Haefliger, soprano Barbara Bonney, mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose, tenor Eric Cutler, bass Alfred Reiter, and USC Thornton Choral Artists, under the direction of Chorus Master William Dehning, in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595, and Requiem, two of the composer's late masterpieces. Other works by Mozart will be performed throughout the season.

    During the 2005/2006 season, the Los Angeles Philharmonic introduces three new First Nights presentations, in addition to the concert commemorating Mozart. As always, the series culminates with the premiere of a brand new work, conducted by Salonen. Additional First Nights concerts this season are Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar, with conductor James Conlon, bass Vladimir Ognovenko and the Men of the Pacific Chorale, under artistic director John Alexander, on January 20. The January 20 First Nights performance includes a theatrical presentation written and directed by Paul Curran, and a pre-concert Upbeat Live event at 6:45 p.m., featuring a string quartet of Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians performing Shostakovich's Quartet No. 13 from the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage. The series continues on April 7, with a performance of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, with conductor Paavo Järvi, and speaker/host Dr. Thomas Forrest Kelly. The First Nights series concludes on May 5, under Salonen's baton, with the premiere of a new work commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and composed by Sweden's Anders Hillborg.

    VLADIMIR JUROWSKI's brilliant debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in April 1996 in Nabucco was welcomed by enthusiastic acclaim both by public and critics. Born in Moscow, he completed his early musical studies with his father at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1990 he moved with his family to Germany, where he finished his studies at the Music Academy in Dresden and in Berlin, specializing with Colin Davis, Rolf Reuter, and Semion Skigin. In 1995 he made his international debut at the Wexford Festival, where he conducted Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night. The sensational success of that production presented him as one of the most interesting young conductors of our day. He successfully returned to the Wexford Festival in 1996 for Meyerbeer's L'étoile du nord. He then conducted many performances at the Komische Oper in Berlin, with the Welsh National Orchestra in Cardiff, with the Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi in Milan, and with the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. In 1997 he made successful debuts on the podium of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and at the Echternach Festival with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. During the same year he also had an outstanding success at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, where he conducted Moise et Pharaon, and made his debuts at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, at the Teatro Real in Madrid, and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (leading the first Italian performance of Hans Werner Henze's Symphony No. 8). Since 1998 Vladimir Jurowski has been a guest of some of the most important musical institutions in Italy and abroad, such as the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Edinburgh Festival, Opéra Bastille in Paris, Teatro Comunale di Firenze, the Oslo Philharmonic, Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli, Bayerischer Rundfunk, and the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Torino. In 1999 he debuted at the Metropolitan Opera with Rigoletto, returning in 2003 to conduct Janácek's Jenufa. In recent seasons he also made highly successful debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic. Highlights of his recent/future engagements include new productions of Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun at the Semperoper in Dresden, Parsifal at the Welsh National Opera, The Queen of Spades at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as Albert Herring, Die Fledermaus, and Die Zauberflöte in Glyndebourne. In the future Vladimir Jurowski will also conduct concerts with the London Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, l'Orchestre National de France, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony. His discography includes the first-ever recording of the cantata Exil by Giya Kancheli for ECM (1994), L'étoile du nord by Meyerbeer for Naxos-Marco Polo (1996), Werther by Massenet for BMG (1999), and a recording of works by Milhaud, Debussy, and Tomasi for Arte Nova (1999). In January 2001 Vladimir Jurowski commenced his position as Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and last year was also appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition he has recently been awarded the honor of joining the Conductor Collegium of the Russian National Orchestra.

    DR. THOMAS FORREST KELLY teaches at Harvard, where his popular course "First Nights" is the inspiration for this series. He lectures at the Smithsonian and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He received his B.A. from Chapel Hill; spent two years on a Fulbright in France studying musicology, chant, and organ. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard (1973). He has taught at Wellesley, Smith, Amherst, and at Oberlin, where he directed the Historical Performance Program and served as acting Dean of the Conservatory. He was named a Harvard College Professor in 2000 and the Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music in 2001. Professor Kelly's main fields of interest are medieval music and original performances performance. He won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for The Beneventan Chant (Cambridge University Press, 1989). His most recent books are First Nights: Five Musical Premieres (Yale University Press, 2000) and First Nights at the Opera (Yale, 2004).

    The 2005/2006 seasons finds pianist LARS VOGT embarking on a dazzling array of high-profile engagements in Europe, the U.S., and Japan, performing over 80 concerts and releasing two recordings on EMI Classics. His collaborations with the great orchestras and conductors of the world continues, as he appears with the Berlin Philharmonic and Christian Thielemann, the London Symphony and Bernard Haitink, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Leonard Slatkin, the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Herbert Blomstedt, and many others. Vogt gives solo recitals in London, as well as in Zürich, Paris, Nuremburg, and Zaragoza. Prized as a chamber musician, Vogt will perform with various ensembles in Salzburg, Lucerne, Frankfurt, and Berlin. In many ways the pièce de resistance of Vogt's season is his chamber music festival at Heimbach, nestled in the hills near Köln. The festival, called Spannungen (www.spannungen.de), is renowned for creating each year the epitome of the chamber music experience. Other festival appearances for Lars Vogt this season include La Roque d'Anthéron, Salzburg, the Proms, Lucerne, and Edinburgh. In the United States this season, Vogt will be heard in solo recitals in Kansas City and New York's Zankel Hall; in duo recital with Christian Tetzlaff in Philadelphia, Princeton, New Orleans, and New York's Alice Tully Hall; in chamber music in San Francisco; and in concerto appearances in five major U.S. cities. He will perform the Grieg Piano Concerto in his Chicago Symphony debut, conducted by Daniel Harding and Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto with the Stockholm Philharmonic and conductor Alan Gilbert at Carnegie Hall. Among the highlights of Lars Vogt's 2004/2005 season were his Boston Symphony debut at the Tanglewood Festival, chamber music concerts in London with cellist Stephen Isserlis and others, a tour of five German cities with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Sir Neville Marriner, recitals in seven European cities, an appearance at Carnegie Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony under Paavo Järvi, and, in the last concert of the season, a performance of Stravinsky's Les Noces with composer/pianist Thomas Adès, pianists Katia and Marièlle Labèque, and the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Lars Vogt is signed exclusively to EMI Classics. He has made three concerto recordings, in collaborations with Sir Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado; seven solo recital recordings, in repertoire ranging from Haydn, Mussorgsky, and Lachenmann to Schubert and Brahms; and seventeen chamber music recordings, fifteen of which were recorded live at the Spannungen Festival. Last year EMI released an album of French repertoire Vogt made with violinist Sarah Chang. Two CDs made at the 2004 Spannungen Festival were released this year and a 2-CD set of Mozart sonatas is set for issue in January 2006. Lars Vogt was born in 1970 in Düren, a small town in Germany. He studied with Ruth Weiss (Aachen) and Prof Karl-Heinz Kämmerling (Hannover). He first came to public attention when he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition, which catapulted him to a life of touring Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. He lives in Germany with his wife, composer Tatiana Komarova, and their young daughter. For more information about Lars Vogt, visit www.larsvogt.com.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places 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 programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2005 at 8 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    First Nights

    VLADIMIR JUROWSKI, conductor

    LARS VOGT, piano

    DR. THOMAS FORREST KELLY, speaker and host

    MOZART Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466

    The First Nights series is generously supported by the James Irvine Foundation.

    Tickets ($37-$129) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15), will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, 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 all information, please call 323.850.2000.

    # # #

  • contact:

    Cathy Williams, 213.972.3689; Photos: 213.972.3034