• WDCH
  • ESA-PEKKA SALONEN AND ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE LEAD LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC NEW MUSIC GROUP IN U.S. PREMIERE OF UNSUK CHIN'S CANTATRIX SOPRANICA AND WORLD PREMIERE OF ROGER REYNOLDS' ILLUSION ON G...
  • May. 9, 2006
  • Guest Vocalists Paul Flight, Hila Plitmann, Caroline Stein and Troy Cook Appear; Tim Monsion and Melinda Page Hamilton are Speakers

    TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2006 AT 8 PM

    Reynolds Illusion: co-commissioned by the LA Philharmonic New Music Group and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Inc., supported by the Rockefeller Foundation Multi-Arts Production Fund and the University of California, San Diego.
    Chin's
    Cantatrix Sopranica commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group

    Assistant Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Group in the U.S. premier of Unsuk Chin's recent commissioned work, Cantatrix Sopranica, a 25-minute piece for three voices and small ensemble. Guest vocalists Paul Flight, countertenor, and Hila Plitmann and Caroline Stein, sopranos, join the New Music Group for this piece.

    Also on the program is the world premiere of Illusion by Roger Reynolds. Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the work, which is scored for baritone, soprano, ensemble, 2 speakers, and 8-channel computer-processed sound and spatialization. Illusion includes a lobby sound installation and the use of eight-track, computer-generated sound during the performance, exploring the sonic possibilities of Walt Disney Concert Hall. Vocal soloists are baritone Troy Cook and Plitmann; speakers are Tim Monsion and Melinda Page Hamilton.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is currently in his 14th season as Music Director. He made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. His current tenure is the second-longest in Philharmonic history, and he recently extended his contract through the 2007/08 season. Alongside his activities as a conductor, Salonen has also won acclaim for his work as a composer. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of works by composers John Adams, Franco Donatoni, William Kraft, Witold Lutoslawski, Magnus Lindberg, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, Tan Dun, and Augusta Read Thomas, as well as his own works. He has led critically acclaimed festivals of music by Ligeti, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Berlioz, and has served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. He and the Philharmonic have toured extensively since 1992, including extended residencies at the Salzburg Festival and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Highlights of the 2004/05 season included the critically acclaimed Tristan Project, a collaboration with Peter Sellars and Bill Viola featuring a semi-staged production of Tristan und Isolde; Schoenberg's Gurrelieder; and the complete cycle of Beethoven's Piano Concertos with Mitsuko Uchida. In February, a series of subscription concerts - "3 x Salonen" - followed by a triumphant March residency in Cologne, celebrated his 20 years of conducting the L.A. Philharmonic and his work as a composer. Salonen's latest orchestral work, Wing on Wing, received its world premiere in June 2004 as part of the Philharmonic's Building Music Festival. In March 2003 Salonen signed an exclusive four-year recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon; in February 2005, the label released Wing throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Salonen and the Philharmonic's discography also includes the debut recording of John Adams' Naive and Sentimental Music - a work that the orchestra premiered - for the Nonesuch label. Esa-Pekka Salonen was born in Helsinki in 1958. After studies at the Sibelius Academy in Finland and with private teachers Franco Donatoni and Niccolò Castiglioni in Italy, he made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979. He is the recipient of many major awards including the Siena Prize from the Accademia Chigiana in 1993, the first conductor ever to receive the prize; the Royal Philharmonic Society's Opera Award in 1995; and their Conductor Award in 1997. In 1998 he was awarded the rank of Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government; in 2003 he received an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Finland.

    As assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the past two years, ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE has led the orchestra in programs at Walt Disney Concert Hall, appearing on the Green Umbrella new music series, education and community concerts, and at the Hollywood Bowl. In January 2006, following a performance of Boulez's "Le Marteau Sans Maître " with the Philharmonic's New Music Group, Mark Swed of the LA Times wrote, "Alexander Mickelthwate has been a fearless assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mickelthwate conducted very much in the Boulez manner: calm under pressure, sure of ever-changing meters…" As a guest conductor, Mickelthwate has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Nashville, New Jersey, Oregon, and Toronto; the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Eos Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa). Abroad, Mickelthwate made his European debut with the Hamburg Symphony in April 2006. During his tenure as assistant conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which he 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." Always striving to engage young people in music, he conducted more than 60 Young People's Concerts with the Atlanta Symphony, and organized an exchange between the Atlanta Youth Symphony and Berlin Youth Orchestra during the summer of 2003, hosting concerts in both cities.

    Born in 1961 in Seoul, Korea, UNSUK CHIN studied at the National University. She moved to Europe in 1985 when she received the DAAD stipend for study in Germany, and took composition lessons with György Ligeti in Hamburg until 1988. Since then, Unsuk Chin has lived and worked in Berlin. Her most widely performed work is Akrostichon-Wortspiel (1991/93) for soprano and ensemble. Other works include Fantaisie mécanique and Xi, both commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the orchestral santika Ekatala (1993), premiered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, ParaMetaString commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, a Piano Concerto (1997) written for Rolf Hind, and Miroirs des temps, commissioned by the BBC for The Hilliard Ensemble and the London Philharmonic. She is currently Composer in Residence with the German Symphony Orchestra, Berlin, which commissioned a new Violin Concerto that premiered in January with Viviane Hagner as soloist and Kent Nagano as conductor.

    Composer and author ROGER REYNOLDS is a Pulitzer Prize winner (for the string orchestra composition Whispers Out of Time, in 1989). He was educated in music and science at the University of Michigan. Reynolds has responded to the variety of the contemporary world with a uniquely diversified output, music that ranges from the purely instrumental and vocal to engagements with computers, video, dance, and theater. His music is nourished by the Western tradition, also by those of Asia (where he lived in Japan for extended periods of time) and by literature and the visual arts as well. In the early 60's, Reynolds was a co-founder of the ONCE Festivals. Late in the same decade, he began to incorporate electronic elements into some of his works. Then, in the late 70's, his engagement with computers at Stanford University's CCRMA facility began. Technology continues to represent for him a natural means of augmenting formal and coloristic resources (as in three major works written in Paris for IRCAM: Archipelago (1982-83) for chamber orchestra and computer processed sound, Odyssey (1989-93), an opera in the mind on a bilingual text by Beckett, and The Angel of Death (2000-2001), for solo piano, chamber orchestra, and 6-channel computer processed sound). In many of the spatial projects, architecture has also played a role, for Reynolds has written works expressly intended for buildings such as Kenzo Tange's Olympic Gymnasium, Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum, Arata Isozaki's Gran Ship, The Royal Albert Hall, and The Great Hall of the Library of Congress. Reynolds is Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego, where, in 1972, he became founding director of the Center for Music Experiment (now the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts).

    Countertenor PAUL FLIGHT made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in John Adam's oratorio El Niño in December. His recent portrayal of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhnaten in the Oakland Opera production of Philip Glass' Akhnaten received glowing reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle. A strong proponent of new music, Flight has performed new works by Mexican composer Mario Lavista at the 31st Festival Internacional Cervantino and,in 2002. Flight sings in many outstanding professional ensembles including Theatre of Voices, The New York Collegium, Aguavá New Music Studio, Piffaro, The Waverly Consort, The Folger Consort, Pomerium Musices, and The Concord Ensemble. Also an active conductor, he recently directed the operas Savitri by Gustav Holst and Les malheurs d'Orphée by Darius Milhaud at Mills College.

    MELINDA PAGE HAMILTON is seen in the recurring role of Sister Mary Bernard on the ABC-TV series Desperate Housewives. In 2005, she played Amy in the indie black comedy Stay, directed by Bob Goldthwait (2006 Sundance Film Festival). Hamilton has also played guest roles on many of television's most popular shows, including CSI: NY, Nip/Tuck, CSI: Miami, Everwood, As the World Turns, Law and Order, and One Life to Live. She also has a thriving career as a theater actress; she played Ann Deever in the Globe Theater's production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons in 2002, and Amanda in To Fool the Eye at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Melinda Page Hamilton earned a BA at Princeton University and an MFA at NYU. Look for her in the upcoming independent film Ted's MBA, also starring Breckin Meyer and Adam Scott.

    TIM MONSION has been in a number of theater productions, including Marvin's Room (Minnetta Lane, New York); School for Scandal (Mark Taper); Light Up the Sky, The Visit, A Flea in Her Ear, Marvin's Room (The Goodman Theatre, Chicago); A Doll's House (Cincinnati Playhouse); The Waiting Room (Arena Stage); A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Dallas Theater Center); Jeffrey (Theatre on the Square, San Francisco); Fuente Ovejuna (The Court Theater, Chicago); and Communicating Doors (Laguna Playhouse). His work has also been seen at Playwrights Horizons, The Kennedy Center, the Hasty Pudding in Boston, and the Tiffany Theater in Hollywood. His film credits include Blink, Men of Honor, and The Second Greatest Story Ever Told. He has made appearances on the following television series: Desperate Housewives, Related, King of Queens, 7th Heaven, Off Centre, Mad About You, Frasier, Cybill, Chicago Hope, Getting Personal, Sisters, Acapulco H.E.A.T., and Innocent Victims.

    Born in Jerusalem, HILA PLITMANN is quickly becoming a cherished soprano voice on the international music scene. Her professional career began in 1998, when she premiered David Del Tredici's The Spider and the Fly with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur. Recent performances include the world premiere of Del Tredici's Paul Revere's Ride with the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Spano; the world premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Wing on Wing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and the world premiere of the orchestrated Mr. Tambourine Man by John Corigliano, with the Minnesota Orchestra, also under Robert Spano.

    Soprano CAROLINE STEIN started her musical education with lessons in piano and classical ballet and then studied with Claudio Nicolai at the Conservatory in Cologne from 1983 till 1988. In 1990 she made her debut as the Queen of the Night at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin and subsequently toured Japan. In 2000, Stein made her debut at the Proms concerts under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and performed Mozart's Mass in C minor and Alban Berg's Altenberg Lieder with the Bochum Symphonic Orchestra. In November 2002 she performed and recorded Ligeti's Requiem with Jonathan Nott and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Berlin Staatsoper in 2004 she sang in Henze's Elegie für junge Liebende and in 2005 included performances in Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio (Konstanze) and The Magic Flute and the role of Violetta in La traviata. Her 2006 engagements include the Berlin Staatsoper, Lyon, Paris, Madrid, and the Edinburgh Festival.

    The Green Umbrella series showcases new music ranging from solo works to chamber opera, performed by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. Concerts take place in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group are made possible in part by the Attiyeh New Music Fund, the Brady New Music Fund, the Freeman Fund for Contemporary Music, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Deborah Borda, Ernest Fleischmann, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2006 at 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    GREEN UMBRELLA

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC NEW MUSIC GROUP

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE, conductor

    HILA PLITMANN, soprano

    CAROLINE STEIN, soprano

    PAUL FLIGHT, countertenor

    TROY COOK, baritone

    MELINDA PAGE HAMILTON, speaker

    TIM MONSION, speaker

    CHIN Cantatrix Sopranica (U.S. premiere)

    REYNOLDS Illusion (World premiere)

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music, hosts.

    Tickets ($15 - $43) 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. 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:

    Adam Crane 213.972.3422; Rachelle Roe 213.972.7310; Photos: 213.972.3034