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  • JAMES CONLON LEADS LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC IN SHOSTAKOVICH CYCLE PERFORMANCES OF SYMPHONY NO. 13, “BABI YAR”VIOLINIST HILARY HAHN PLAYS SIBELIUS' VIOLIN CONCERTO
  • Jan. 20, 2006
  • Hahn Appears January 21 and 22; January 20 Performance is "First Nights" Series Concert Featuring Bass Vladimir Ognovenko and Men of the Pacific Chorale Perform Shostakovich Work

    FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 AT 8 PM

    SATURDAY, JANUARY 21 AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2006, AT 2 PM

    January 20 Sponsored by James Irvine Foundation; January 21 Sponsored by Princess Cruises

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association concludes its five-year survey of the symphonies and string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich this season. James Conlon conducts performances of Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar, on Friday, January 20 at 8 p.m., Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, January 22 at 2 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, one of the most compelling artists on the international concert circuit, performs Sibelius' poetic Violin Concerto at the January 21 and 22 concerts. Conlon, currently music director of the Ravinia Festival (summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and music director designate of Los Angeles Opera, is joined by renowned Russian bass Vladimir Ognovenko, making his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut, and the Men of the Pacific Chorale (John Alexander, director) for Shostakovich's harrowing and powerful work.

    The January 20 performance is the second of four Philharmonic First Nights: An Introduction to Great Works productions during the 2005-06 season. Each evening in the series uses a different format, ranging from multimedia demonstration and theater to musical analysis, in the exploration of a featured work. This First Nights theatrical treatment, written and directed by internationally known stage and opera director Paul Curran, delves into Shostakovich's Thirteenth symphony, sets several of on Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poems, including Babi Yar. The poem, whose verses ignited a creative fire in Shostakovich the moment he saw them in a literary periodical in 1961, describes the massacre by Nazi soldiers of more than 33,000 Jewish men, women, and children in Russia who were taken by truck convoy to Babi Yar (Grandmother's Ravine) and systematically killed by machine gun fire, falling or being pushed into the ravine.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians also perform Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 13 during “Upbeat Live,” open to all ticket holders one hour and 15 minutes before concert time on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage. Musicologist Eric Bromberger moderates this free pre-concert event.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic's Shostakovich Cycle concludes with a concert conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen on February 2, 3 and 4, 2006.

    Over the course of nearly 30 years of conducting, JAMES CONLON has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire, and developed enduring relationships with the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras and opera houses. In addition to his posts with the Ravinia Festival and Los Angeles Opera, he has been music director of the Cincinnati May Festival since 1979. Conlon has served as principal conductor of the Paris National Opera (1995-2004); general music director of the City of Cologne, Germany (1989-2002); and music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (1983-1991). Since his New York Philharmonic debut in 1974, he has appeared as guest conductor with virtually every major North American and European orchestra. Conlon recently conducted the world premiere of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, where he has led more than 250 performances since his debut in 1976. He is also collaborating with director Kenneth Branagh on a film adaptation of Mozart's The Magic Flute. In an effort to raise public consciousness to the significance of works of composers whose lives were affected by the Holocaust, such as Alexander von Zemlinsky, Viktor Ullmann, Bohuslav Martinu and Erwin Schulhoff, Conlon programs this music with as many American and European orchestras as possible. He has recorded extensively for the EMI, Sony Classical, Erato, Capriccio, and Telarc labels and has won awards for his recordings of the works of Alexander Zemlinsky. In 1999, Conlon received the Zemlinsky Prize for his efforts in bringing the composer's music to international attention, and in 2002, he received France's highest distinction, the Légion d'Honneur, from Jacques Chirac, president of the French Republic.

    At the age of 26, violinist HILARY HAHN has achieved renown for her intellectual and emotional maturity. She was named "America's Best" young classical musician by Time magazine in 2001 and appears on a regular basis with the world's great orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North America. Hahn's most recent album, released in October 2005, features four Mozart sonatas played with her longtime recital partner Natalie Zhu. Her first album, featuring solo Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, won 1997's Diapason d'Or of the Year and spent weeks as a bestseller on the Billboard classical charts, and her next recording, concertos by Beethoven and Bernstein, brought her first Grammy nomination, as well as a second Diapason d'Or, the Echo Klassik award for 1999, and Gramophone magazine's "CD of the Month." In recent projects, she can be heard as featured soloist on the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to M. Night Shyamalan's film, The Village, and as a guest artist on the newest album by Austin alt-rockers …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Admitted to Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music in 1990 at the age of ten, Hahn made her major orchestra debut a year-and-a-half later with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Her 1993 Philadelphia Orchestra debut was followed by engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In March 1995, at age 15, Hahn made her German debut playing the Beethoven concerto with Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in a concert broadcast on radio and television throughout Europe. Nearly every summer since 1992, she has appeared at the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival, performing both as chamber musician and as soloist with the festival orchestra. Between 1995 and 2000, she spent four summers studying and performing chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. From 1996 to 1998 she was an artist-member of the chamber music mentoring program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with whom she subsequently appeared as a frequent guest artist.

    VLADIMIR OGNOVENKO, bass, made his U.S. opera debut in San Francisco Opera's production of War and Peace and has subsequently appeared there as Varlaam in Boris Godunov and as Ruslan and Farlaf in Ruslan and Ludmila. Other important U.S. debuts followed quickly at the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and at the Houston Grand Opera. Ognovenko made his debut this season at La Scala. A graduate of the Ural Conservatory, Ognovenko joined Maly Theatre of Saint Petersburg in 1984, and in 1989 became a principal bass with the Mariinsky Theatre (the Kirov Opera). In 1996 the bass portrayed Prince Ivan Khovansky in a new staging of Khovanshchina under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and subsequently became the leading bass of the Bolshoi Theatre. He has also performed in Argentina, Chile, Italy, Finland, Scotland (Edinburgh Festival), Germany, Israel (Jerusalem Festival), France, Greece, Holland, and Japan. He has two Grammys for recordings of Prince Igor and Ruslan and Ludmila and was awarded the title of "Artist of Merit of the Russian Federation" and the highest mark of achievement, the title of "People's Artist of Russia."

    The PACIFIC CHORALE, John Alexander, director, produces a series of concerts each year at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, where it serves as the sole resident choir. Comprised of 160 professional and volunteer singers, Pacific Chorale also provides choral forces for both local and visiting orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Orange County's Pacific Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside, and San Diego symphonies. Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively all over the world and have collaborated with the London Symphony, L'Orchestre Lamoureux of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Symphony, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina. The seventh largest-budgeted chorus in the United States, Pacific Chorale has received numerous awards, most recently, the 2005 ASCAP Award for adventurous programming.

    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, JANUARY 20, AT 8:00 PM

    SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, AT 8:00 PM

    SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, AT 2:00 PM

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


    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    JAMES CONLON, conductor

    HILARY HAHN, violin (January 21 and 22)

    VLADIMIR OGNOVENKO, bass

    MEN OF THE PACIFIC CHORALE, John Alexander, director

    PAUL CURRAN, writer/director (January 20)



    SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 13, "Babi Yar"

    SIBELIUS Violin Concerto (January 21 and 22)


    January 20 Sponsored by James Irvine Foundation, January 21 Sponsored by Princess Cruises,

    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. 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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    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; Photos: 213.972.3034