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  • WDCH
  • Jan. 29, 2008
  • The Legendary Ensemble Performs Two Programs Over Consecutive Nights as Part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Visiting Orchestras Series

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008, AT 8 PM

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008, AT 8 PM

    Admired for its established history as a world-class ensemble with a renowned understanding of the Romantic repertoire, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra returns to Los Angeles for the first time in 18 years to make its Walt Disney Concert Hall debut Tuesday, January 29, with a second concert on Wednesday, January 30, both at 8 p.m. Mariss Jansons, chief conductor of the orchestra since 2004, leads in both performances.

    The Tuesday program features music by Amsterdam’s native son Otto Ketting. Inspired by Greek poet Constantine Cavafy’s Ithaki, Ketting composed Reisvierluik (Travel Quadtych), a four-stage journey. The evening’s program begins with The Arrival (De aankomst), the third piece in Ketting’s cycle, and continues with Debussy’s nautical homage to La mer. The program concludes with Brahms’ bucolic and serene Symphony No. 2. The Wednesday performance features Strauss’ Don Juan, inspired by Nikolaus Lenau’s poem with a principal theme highlighted by the upward sweeping roar of four horns in unison, and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony whose wistful and amorous Adagietto is beloved by audiences worldwide.

    The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has gained international acclaim for its interpretations of late Romantic repertoire. The Mahler tradition was established through the many Concertgebouw performances conducted by the composer. Under Mariss Jansons, the sixth chief conductor, the orchestra continues to develop its wide repertoire, with special attention to the music of such composers as Mahler, Bruckner and Strauss, and also the works of Shostakovich, whose 100th anniversary was celebrated in 2006.

    Upbeat Live pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders and offered one hour prior in BP Hall. Russell Steinberg, composer, conductor and performer as well as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra and faculty member at UCLA, leads the Tuesday, January 29 program. Raymond Knapp, author and Musicology Professor at UCLA, discusses the Wednesday, January 30 program.

    The remaining performances in the 2007/08 Visiting Orchestras series include the Walt Disney Concert Hall debuts of ensembles from Britain and China: the Philharmonia Orchestra (conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi) on May 6 and 7; and the China Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Long Yu with special guest Lang Lang) on May 22, 2008.

    Soon after its establishment in 1888, the ROYAL CONCERTGEBOUW ORCHESTRA developed into one of the best orchestras in Europe – “really magnificent, full of youthful vigor and enthusiasm,” as Richard Strauss described it in 1897. The Orchestra was granted Royal status in 1988. It has made more than a thousand recordings and is regarded worldwide as one of the most prestigious symphony orchestras. The fact that it has been led by only a limited number of chief conductors has played a decisive role in this development. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has gained its unique international position with its “velvet” strings, “golden” brass, and the exceptional and personal timbre of the woodwinds. The musicians are the guardians of the playing culture that gives the Orchestra its unique sound and flexibility. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra consists of 120 virtuosos who perform together at the highest level. During the 50 years of Willem Mengelberg’s reign, a wide variety of composers – R. Strauss, Mahler, Debussy and Stravinsky – conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra several times. Celebrities such as Bartók, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev performed their own works as soloists. This crucial bond with contemporary composers was continued with Maderna, Berio, Henze, Nono, Adams and many others.

    Chief Conductor MARISS JANSONS became the sixth principal conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in September 2004. Since 1988, he has appeared on several occasions as a guest conductor in Amsterdam. Born in Latvia, Jansons was chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1979 to 2000, during which time he raised the orchestra’s standing to international level. He subsequently held the post of music director with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has been principal conductor of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich since September 2003, a post he combines with his position at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Jansons has performed in some of the most important music centres in Europe, America, and Japan, and he was a guest at the Lucerne Festival, the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Proms. He is invited back each year to the Salzburg Festival, and he has his own concert series in Vienna’s Musikverein. As a guest conductor, Jansons has performed with orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has also been the principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2006, he directed the New Year’s concert in Vienna. Besides the many well-known records and CDs he made with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jansons has recorded with such orchestras as the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Many of these recordings have won international awards, including an Edison Prize and a Grammy. A series of recordings with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on its own label RCO Live has received enthusiastic acclaim from public and press alike. Jansons has been awarded various international honors for his achievements, including the Cross of Merit from King Harald of Norway and memberships in the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. In May 2006, he was awarded the Order of the Three Stars, Latvia’s highest state honor.

    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.


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

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at 8 PM

    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    Mariss Jansons, conductor

    KETTING The Arrival

    DEBUSSY La mer

    BRAHMS Symphony No. 2

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008, at 8 PM

    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

    Mariss Jansons, conductor

    STRAUSS Don Juan

    MAHLER Symphony No. 5

    Upbeat Live pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, offered one hour prior in BP Hall. Russell Steinberg, composer, conductor and performer discusses the Tuesday program. Steinberg is the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, and is on the faculty at UCLA. Raymond Knapp, author and Musicology Professor at UCLA, discusses the Wednesday program.

    Tickets ($40 - $142) are on sale now online at, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, 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 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Photos, 213.972.3034