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  • WDCH
  • Dec. 17, 2005
  • Assistant Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate Leads Program of Traditional Carols, Songs of the Season and Glorious Orchestral Music of the Holidays

    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2005, AT 2 PM and SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2005, at 7:30 PM

    Continuing the LA Phil’s Deck the Hall concert series, actor/director Henry Winkler hosts and narrates ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas with Assistant Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate, who leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program celebrating traditional holiday music on Saturday, December 17, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, December 18, at 7:30 p.m.

    In a program of traditional carols and glorious orchestral music of the holidays, this family concert, with special pricing for children under 12, features the Canterbury and Coventry Choirs of All Saints Church in Pasadena (James Walker, director), plus singers and loads of holiday cheer.

    Whether offering comfort and joy, camaraderie and a good laugh, or ringing in 2006, the yuletide spirit fills Walt Disney Concert Hall with Deck the Hall, a two-week schedule of festive concert events offering an array of artists bringing their personal touch to the season. Other Deck the Hall concerts include: Christmas with Chanticleer on December 20; The Manhattan Transfer Christmas on December 21; Lila Downs, Calexico and Mariachi Luz de Luna on December 22; Go Tell It on the Mountain: The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show on December 23; and New Year’s Eve with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

    CANTERBURY CHOIR AND COVENTRY CHOIR are the two adult choirs, totaling more than 100 singers, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. The choirs’ repertoires span the spectrum of choral music, from gospel, jazz and world music to traditional full-scale orchestra/choral works, including premieres of numerous works by outstanding Los Angeles-based composers. The choirs have performed for the American Choral Directors Association and the American Guild of Organists — locally, and for regional and national conferences.

    ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE, Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, made his subscription debut in 2005 on 30 minutes notice, when he stepped in for Mikko Franck to lead Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 and John Adams’s Violin Concerto. Picked by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen from 150 applicants and 8 finalists, Mickelthwate now regularly leads the orchestra in programs at Walt Disney Concert Hall, appearing in the Green Umbrella new music series and multiple education and community concerts. In November 2004, he made his debut leading the New Music Group in a critically acclaimed, world premiere performance of a commissioned piece by Mason Bates. Last summer he made his Hollywood Bowl debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic leading them in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Mickelthwate has already conducted the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, New Jersey, New Mexico, Omaha, Oregon, Virginia, and Winnipeg; the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Eos Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa). During the 2005–06 season, his schedule includes performances with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Honolulu, Kalamazoo, Omaha, Nashville, Portland (Maine), and Winnipeg, among others, in addition to his work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic which includes a subscription program at Walt Disney Concert Hall. During his tenure as Assistant Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which was completed at the end of the 2003-04 season, he co-founded the new music ensemble, Bent Frequency, which was hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the brightest ensembles on the scene.” Having inherited a passion for opera from his grandmother, a professional opera singer, Mickelthwate has been a coach, pianist and conductor at New York’s Amato Opera and an assistant conductor for the Baltimore Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, and the El Paso Opera. Mickelthwate was born in Germany into a musical family. He developed his musical talent at an early age as a cellist in youth orchestras and chamber groups, as a singer in a professional choir, and as a pianist and organist. He studied conducting and piano performance at the Musikhochschule in Karlsruhe, where as a student he worked as a pianist for the Frankfurt Chamber Opera and the Karlsruhe Opera Studio. He also studied for two summers at the Eötvöes Institute in Hungary. After winning a Peabody merit scholarship in 1996, Mickelthwate moved to Baltimore to study at the Peabody Institute of Music with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. Further studies took place with Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, and Andre Previn as a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center and with Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C. Mickelthwate lives in Los Angeles with his wife and young son.

    HENRY WINKLER is an actor, producer, director and author whose work has won the attention of audiences and critics worldwide. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of ‘Fonzie’ in the seventies television hit Happy Days, which garnered him the status of pop culture icon, as well as two consecutive Golden Globes for ‘Best Actor in a Comedy Series,’ three Emmy nominations for ‘Best Actor in a Comedy Series,’ and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, Winkler is the recipient of the United Nations Peace Prize and has received France’s highest civilian honor, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Currently, Winkler is starring in the new CBS comedy Out of Practice. In addition to his television series, Winkler is also busy promoting his 9th children book called Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever: My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard, which is now in bookstores. In 2003, Henry began writing a series of children books with his partner Lin Oliver for Penguin Putnam Publisher, entitled, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever. The books are inspired by Henry’s struggle with dyslexia. The first eight books of the series are in bookstores now and have sold over a million copies nationwide. They have appeared on several Best Seller lists including the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review and Barnes and Noble. Most recently, Winkler had a recurring role on FOX’s highly acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning television series Arrested Development, as ‘Barry Zuckercorn,’ the family’s clueless lawyer. Winkler also recently guest-starred on the season five premiere of NBC series Crossing Jordan, reprising his role from last year’s season finale. Other notable television credits include “Third Watch,” “The Practice,” for which he received an Emmy nomination in 1999, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” On the film front, Winkler is currently filming Click with actors Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale and Christopher Walken. Click tells a tale about a workaholic architect (Adam Sandler) who finds a remote that allows him to fast-forward and rewind to different parts of his life. Winkler plays the important role of his father. The film is slated for release in 2007. Winkler also has two films coming out this year: Unbeatable Harold with Dylan McDermott and The Kid & I, which was written by and stars Tom Arnold. Aside from his busy schedule as an actor, Winkler has become quite prolific behind-the-scenes as well. Winkler formed his own production companies Fair Dinkum, JZM and Winkler/Daniel Productions and under these banners he executive produced numerous shows for various networks. In 2001, Winkler starred on Broadway in Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party for nine months. The production made its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. An engagement at the Eisenhower Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. led to its Broadway run, marking Winkler’s return to the Broadway stage after an absence of 30 years. In 2001, the cast of The Dinner Party won the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award for ‘Best Ensemble.’ Born and raised in New York, Winkler attended Emerson College in Boston and the Yale School of Drama where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts Degree. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and they have three children and two dogs.

    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.


    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2005, at 2 PM and

    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2005, at 7:30 PM

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

    ‘Twas the Week Before Christmas



    HENRY WINKLER, narrator and host

    Vocalists to be announced


    ARR. WENDEL Overture to a Merry Christmas
    PUCCINI Selections from La boheme:

    “Che gelida manina”

    “Si, mi chiamano Mimi”

    “O soave fanciulla “

    TCHAIKOVSKY Selections from The Nutcracker





    Mother Gigogne

    Arr. BASS Twas the Night Before Christmas
    DUPRÉ Poem Heroic
    BACH “Sheep May Safely Graze” from Cantata 208
    Arr. DEUTSCH The Dreidl Song

    arr. Kennedy
    O Come All Ye Faithful
    BACH Vom Himmel Hoch

    arr. Kennedy
    Joy to the World
    Arr. ROBERTS Improv on “God Rest Ye Merry”
    GRUBER Silent Night
    HANDEL Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah

    Tickets ($15-$129) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Prices for children 12 and under ($20-$65) are also available. 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.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Cathy Williams, 213.972.3689; Photos: 213.972.3034