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  • WDCH
  • Oct. 4, 2007
  • The Fifth Opening Night Gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall Features an Evening of French and Italian Favorites, Dinner and Dancing


    Pre-concert reception begins at 6 PM

    Post-Concert Dinner and Dancing

    Evening Generously Sponsored By Breguet

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic's fifth season at Walt Disney Concert Hall begins with its annual black-tie gala benefit featuring the much sought-after soprano Renée Fleming, who lends her enchanting vocals to accompany Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Thursday, October 4. The activities for this elegant occasion include a pre-concert reception at 6 p.m. and concert at 7 p.m., featuring a program of French and Italian favorites including Ravel's Shéhérazade and two arias by Puccini. Following the concert, festivities continue with a French soirée on Grand Avenue as guests dine and dance under the Los Angeles skyline and reflected beauty of Walt Disney Concert Hall. Acclaimed chef Joachim Splichal of The Patina Group creates a gourmet dinner suited to the evening's theme, which this year is "La musique est sans âge," or "Music is timeless," and reflects the Los Angeles Philharmonic's first-of-its-kind partnership with luxury timepiece manufacturer Breguet.

    "With this season's special Opening Night performance and gala, featuring Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Philharmonic and the Walt Disney Concert Hall debut of Renée Fleming, one of the world's most popular and beloved lyric sopranos, we launch a truly magnificent season of innovative concert programming and top-tier performances," says Philharmonic President Deborah Borda. "In addition, we give a special acknowledgement to the evening's exclusive sponsor, Breguet, the Philharmonic's official timepiece. This new partnership is a wonderful illustration of the Philharmonic's commitment to establishing unique collaborative relationships, much like the artistic ones we develop with outstanding musical artists."

    "It is a great pleasure and privilege for Montres Breguet to support the Los Angeles Philharmonic by sponsoring the opening event of the season," said Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek Sr., CEO of Montres Breguet SA and chairman of the board of The Swatch Group. "This evening will celebrate the magnificent synergy and mutual admiration between the world-class musical artistry of the performers of the Philharmonic and the master watch-making of our Breguet artisans in Switzerland."

    Funds raised from the gala support the Musicians Pension Fund and the presentations, concerts and programs of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, including its educational and community outreach programs. Excellent seats are reserved for this benefit evening. Tickets - ranging in price from $1,500 to $10,000, and including significant charitable contributions - may be reserved by calling 213.972.3051.

    In keeping with the mission of bringing live music to as broad an audience as possible, support of this event also allows music students and teachers from throughout Los Angeles to attend this concert as guests of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    The gala committee for the 2007 Los Angeles Philharmonic benefit at Walt Disney Concert Hall includes co-chairs Carolyn and William Powers and Alyce and Warren Williamson, in addition to committee members Beatrice and Paul Bennett, Lynn and Otis Booth, Margaret and Jerrold Eberhardt, Pamela and Steven Hoefflin, M.D., Ellen and Mark Lipson, Carla and Fred Sands, Elizabeth and Henry Segerstrom, and Joni and Clark Smith.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the evening’s exclusive sponsor and official Los Angeles Philharmonic timepiece, Breguet.

    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.

    Breguet is the ultimate watch brand among the 159 member companies comprising the Swatch Group Ltd of Biel, Switzerland, the largest watch company in the world. With boutiques in Beverly Hills, New York, Cannes, London, Paris, Geneva, Seoul, Vienna, Dubai and Tokyo, the 232-year-old brand appeals to a very discerning clientele.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, who was born in Helsinki in 1958, studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. In 1979, he made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1984. He was recently appointed Principal Conductor of London's Philharmonia for next season, his last with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition, Salonen has won acclaim for his work as a composer. Among the many highlights of Salonen's career with the Los Angeles Philharmonic have been world premieres of works by composers John Adams, Franco Donatoni, Anders Hillborg, William Kraft, Magnus Lindberg, Witold Lutoslawski, Bernard Rands, Kaija Saariaho, 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, Berlioz, and Beethoven, and the Tristan Project. He and the Philharmonic have toured extensively since 1992. In October of 2003, Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. In March 2003, Salonen signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The following year, DG released a disc devoted to his recent orchestral works, featuring Foreign Bodies, Insomnia, and Wing on Wing. In January 2006, Salonen and the Philharmonic recorded their first CD together for DG, the first live recording at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Salonen and the Philharmonic also have four live concert recordings available for download on iTunes from DG Concerts.) Before signing with DG, Salonen recorded regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen is the recipient of several 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. Musical America named him 2006 Musician of the Year.

    RENÉE FLEMING's luminous sound, brilliant stage presence and superb artistry are just a few of the qualities that make her one of the world's most beloved and recognizable figures. Her freshness and purity of tone, together with an exceptional musical intelligence and grace, continue to enchant audiences worldwide. As a passionate champion of creativity in the arts, she continues to be a proponent of new music and an advocate of overlooked masterpieces. Fleming's 2007/08 season brings her to the opera houses of New York, Chicago and Vienna. She appears in two of her signature roles with the Metropolitan Opera: Violetta in La traviata, in November 2007, and Desdemona in Otello, in February 2008. She repeats La traviata for the Lyric Opera of Chicago in January 2008, and in June, she appears at the Vienna State Opera in a new production of Strauss' Capriccio. Other highlights include the 2007/08 season gala opening nights of the National Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony; and in November 2007, the Dallas Opera presents her in solo concert to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. This season, Renée Fleming also performs the world premiere of the song cycle Le Temps L'Horloge, written for her by Henri Dutilleux, which she debuts in September with Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, and repeats in November with James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who bring it to New York's Carnegie Hall in December. In Spring 2008, Fleming performs and records Strauss' Four Last Songs with the Munich Philharmonic under Christian Thielemann. A two-time Grammy winner, Fleming is an exclusive recording artist for Decca, which in November 2007 releases the Los Angeles Opera's production of La traviata on DVD, featuring Renée Fleming, Rolando Villazon and Renato Bruson. In May 2007, TDK's DVD production of Capriccio, with Fleming singing the role of the Countess, was awarded the Prix Maria Callas Orphée d'Or by the Académie du Disque Lyrique, which awarded her the inaugural Prix Solti Orphée d'Or in 1996. Fleming studied at the Juilliard School, holds degrees from the State University of New York at Potsdam and the Eastman School of Music, and was a Fulbright Scholar for study in Germany.


    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2007, at 7 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    RENÉE FLEMING, soprano

    BERLIOZ Love Scene from Romeo and Juliet

    RAVEL Shéhérazade

         Renée Fleming, soprano

    BOCCHERINI (arr. BERIO) "Ritirate notturna di Madrid"

    PUCCINI "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi

         Renée Fleming, soprano

    PUCCINI "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca

         Renée Fleming, soprano

    BERLIOZ Ball Scene from Romeo and Juliet

    6 PM Pre-concert reception throughout the Hall including wine and hors d'oeuvres

    7 PM Concert

    8:15 PM Dinner and dancing

    This gala evening benefits the Musicians Pension Fund and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

    Tickets for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2007 annual opening night black-tie gala benefit may be reserved by calling 213.972.3051.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310,; Lisa White, 213.972.3408,; Photos: 213.972.3034