Principal Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi Leads His Orchestra In Two Programs
TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2008, AT 8 PM WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2008, AT 8 PM
Britain’s Philharmonia Orchestra crosses the pond to make its Walt Disney Concert Hall debut as part of the LA PHIL’s Visiting Orchestras concerts. Led by Principal Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, this acclaimed ensemble performs Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony No. 4, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Tuesday, May 6, at 8 p.m., and returns Wednesday, May 7, at 8 p.m. for a program consisting of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Schumann’s Spring Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. While the orchestra is making its debut, Dohnányi is not; the maestro has previously conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including a Brahms Symphony cycle last season.
Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony captures the composer’s impressions of Italy during a 10-month visit to the country. Though it had a successful premiere, Mendelssohn revised it twice, with the final version not published until after his death. Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 also went through revisions and was published twice, once in 1899, and later in 1906. The work bursts with the composer’s trademark elements of contrast between the pastoral and the surreal, the chaotic and the serene, and the tortuous and the triumphant.
Beethoven’s Egmont Overture is one of the few pieces the composer wrote for the stage. He identified with the high moral qualities possessed by the main character and developed an overture that is a superb tone poem, terse and vividly descriptive. Schumann’s Spring Symphony, sketched in a four-day burst and completed within a month, originally bore movement titles: “The Beginning of Spring,” “Evening,” “Merry Playmates,” and “Spring in Full Bloom.” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, one of his best-known works, continues to exert its spell after nearly two centuries.
Founded in 1945 as a recording orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra has more than 1,000 releases to its credit. Today the symphonic group includes more than 80 musicians performing 40 concerts in London, 60 concerts at its residencies, and tours the globe annually.
Upbeat Live pre-concert events are held in BP Hall one hour prior to each concert, and are free to all ticket-holders. Christopher Russell, on the faculty at CSU Fullerton and Azusa Pacific University, and Director of Instrumental Music at Orange County High School of the Arts, hosts the Tuesday, May 6 program. Daniel Kessner, composer, conductor, flutist and Emeritus Professor at Cal State Northridge, hosts the Wednesday, May 7 program.
The Philharmonia Orchestra concerts conclude the LA PHIL’s 2007/08 season of Visiting Orchestras concerts.
The PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA is one of the world’s great orchestras. Acknowledged as the U.K.’s foremost musical pioneer, with an extraordinary recording legacy, the Philharmonia leads the field for its quality of playing, and for its innovative approach to audience development, residencies, music education, and the use of new technologies in reaching a global audience. Together with its relationships with the world’s most sought-after artists, most importantly its Principal Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, the Philharmonia Orchestra is at the heart of British musical life. In the 2007/08 season the orchestra is performing more than 200 concerts, as well as presenting chamber performances by the Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and recording scores for films, CDs, and computer games. The orchestra not only returns to the refurbished Royal Festival Hall, but celebrates its eleventh year as Resident Orchestra of De Montfort Hall in Leicester, its eighth year as Orchestra in Partnership at the Anvil in Basingstoke, and the first year of a major new residency in Kent and the Thames Gateway, based in Canterbury. The orchestra’s extensive touring schedule this season also includes a weeklong residency at the Musikverein in Vienna, and appearances at more than 20 of the finest international concert halls. During its first six decades, the Philharmonia Orchestra has collaborated with most of the great classical artists of the 20th century. Conductors associated with the orchestra include Furtwängler, Richard Strauss, Toscanini, Cantelli, Karajan, and Giulini. Otto Klemperer was the first of many outstanding Principal Conductors, and other great names have included Lorin Maazel (Associate Principal Conductor), Riccardo Muti (Principal Conductor and Music Director), and Giuseppe Sinopoli (Music Director). At the beginning of the 2008/09 season, Esa-Pekka Salonen will take up the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra; Christoph von Dohnányi will become Honorary Conductor for Life.
The 2007/08 season marks the end of CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI’s reign as Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia, a relationship that started in 1997, prior to which he served for three years as their Principal Guest Conductor. In addition to the subscription concerts at the South Bank Centre and in venues around England, this season sees Dohnányi and the orchestra giving a three-concert residency in Vienna’s Musikverein, touring Germany, and making a substantial West Coast tour of the U.S. They have developed a successful collaboration with the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, their many performances there including productions of Strauss’ Arabella, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Die schweigsame Frau, Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, and Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. In concert, they also performed all of Brahms’ symphonies in 1994. From 2008/09 onwards, Dohnányi will become Honorary Conductor for Life. Dohnányi has also held the position of Chief Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra since September 2004. Born in Berlin, Dohnányi began to study law in Munich. After two years he chose to join the Munich Academy of Music to study composition, piano, and conducting. At the end of his studies he was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize for conducting by the City of Munich and continued to study with his grandfather, Ernst von Dohnányi, at Florida State University. In 1953, Dohnányi was hired as repetiteur and conductor at the Frankfurt Opera by Sir Georg Solti. At the age of 27 he moved to Lübeck, where he became Germany’s youngest General Music Director, before becoming Chief Conductor at first in Kassel and then of the Westdeutsche Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra in Cologne. From 1968 he served as General Music Director in Frankfurt and, from 1972, as Director of the Frankfurt Opera. From 1977 to 1984 he was Intendant and Chief Conductor of Hamburg Opera. In December 1981 Dohnányi first conducted the Cleveland Orchestra. He was Music Director Designate from 1982 to 1984 and served as its sixth Music Director from September 1984 to August 2002, becoming the orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate in September 2002.
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:
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2008 at 8 PM
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI, conductor
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4, “Italian”
MAHLER Symphony No. 1
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2008 at 8 PM
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI, conductor
BEETHOVEN Egmont Overture
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 1, “Spring”
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5
Upbeat Live pre-concert events are held in BP Hall one hour prior to the concerts, and are free to all ticket-holders. Christopher Russell, on the faculty at CSU Fullerton and Azusa Pacific University, and Director of Instrumental Music at Orange County High School of the Arts, hosts the Tuesday, May 6 program. Daniel Kessner, composer, conductor, flutist and Emeritus Professor at Cal State Northridge, hosts the Wednesday, May 7 program.
Tickets ($40 - $142) are on sale now online at LAPhil.com, 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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Adam Crane, 213.972.3422, firstname.lastname@example.org; Photos: 213.972.3034