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  • Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet Joins Conductor Robert Spano and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a Program of Varèse, Gershwin, and Rachmaninoff
  • Feb. 12, 2009
  • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2009, AT 8 PM;

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009, AT 11 AM;

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY, 14, 2009 AT 8 PM;

    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2009, AT 2 PM

    February 12 Media Sponsor: KUSC

    Robert Spano conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in a program that includes Varèse’s Octandre, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, featuring piano soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3.

    Robert Spano is recognized as one of the brightest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. Now in his eighth season as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he has enriched its repertoire and elevated the ensemble to new levels of international prominence. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, hailed by the press as “one of the best pianists in the world” joins Spano and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, written for the New York Symphony (later merged with the New York Philharmonic) after the conductor of the symphony at that time, Walter Damrosch, heard the world premiere of Rhapsody in Blue. Gershwin’s concerto debuted in 1925, and biographer David Schiff, in an Atlantic Monthly article, noted that Gershwin’s melding of the classical and popular “…opened a dialogue between classical and popular elements in which the popular side – those gorgeous tunes – would dominate.”

    French composer Varèse’s Octandre opens the program. The title refers both to its eight-player ensemble and the word’s literal meaning, a flower with eight stamens. This brief work is his one “intimate” ensemble work – in terms of the number of players involved, certainly not its emotional impact. The concert concludes with Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3, the composer’s last, which was written in 1936 - a year before George Gershwin’s death at the age of 37.

    An opportunity to learn more about the program is free to all ticket holders at Upbeat Live, which takes place in BP Hall one hour prior to each concert. Daniel Kessner, composer, conductor, and flutist, hosts. Friday’s Upbeat Live takes place onstage at 9:45 a.m.

    In his distinguished career, ROBERT SPANO has conducted the greatest orchestras of North America, including those in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Among the orchestras he has led internationally are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala (Milan), Czech Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Sinfonie Orchestra, BBC Scottish and BBC Symphony Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, and Oslo Philharmonic. Equally accomplished as an operatic conductor, he has appeared with the opera companies of Chicago and Houston, as well as at the Santa Fe Opera, Royal Opera at Covent Garden and Welsh National Opera. In August 2005, he conducted an internationally renowned cast in three cycles of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Seattle Opera. This success led to his immediate re-engagement to lead the company's next Ring cycles in 2009. With a discography of 12 critically acclaimed recordings for Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon recorded over six years, Spano has garnered six Grammy Awards. Under his direction, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has made a series of critically acclaimed recordings for the Telarc label. Since Robert Spano's arrival at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the ASO has reported increased single ticket and subscription sales while the number of its donors has risen by more than 40 percent. He regularly programs and performs music of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as world premieres of ASO-commissioned works. He maintains a strong community presence by appearing in recitals and chamber music performances with ASO musicians throughout the Atlanta community. Robert Spano served as Director of the prestigious Festival of Contemporary Music at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Music Center in 2003 and 2004, and from 1996 to 2004 was the Music Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic--a period marked by significant artistic growth and critical acclaim. An accomplished pianist, Robert Spano performs chamber music with many of his colleagues from the Atlanta Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Oberlin Conservatory. In addition to his demanding performance schedule, Robert Spano is a strong advocate for music education. He was head of the Conducting Fellowship Program at the Tanglewood Music Center from 1998-2002, and is a professor of conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory. He was Music Director of the 2006 Ojai Festival and appears frequently at the Aspen Music Festival.

    JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET is sought after by today’s foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors and collaborative musicians. His absolute artistry, virtuosity and charisma have brought him to the world’s most renowned stages numerous times, leaving audiences around the globe repeatedly captivated. Following appearances at major festivals throughout Europe and the US as well as European tours with the New York Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebow Orchestra in summer 2008, Thibaudet toured with London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (with an appearance at Carnegie Hall), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kammerorchester Basel. Additional performances in the 2008-09 season are with Munich Philharmonic, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, London Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Dresden Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony, and Orchestre National de Lyon in Europe. Appearances in the US are with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Colorado and Charleston. In April 2009, Jean-Yves Thibaudet embarks on a 9-city tour with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, bringing Ravel’s two piano concerti and Lizt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 to the audiences of Geneva, Cologne, Aachen, Frankfurt, Berlin, Wiesbaden, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. Additional tours are with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (May 2009) and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (March 2009). Thibaudet is an exclusive recording artist for Decca, which has released over 40 of his albums, earning the Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or, Choc de la Musique, a Gramophone Award, two Echo awards, and the Edison Prize. His latest recording, Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos Nos. 2&5, with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, released in early fall 2007, follows the album, Aria—Opera Without Words, which was released in February 2007, inspired by the artist’s love and admiration for the human voice as “the best vehicle for expression in music.” The disc features transcriptions of opera arias by Saint-Saëns, R. Strauss, Gluck, Korngold, Bellini, J. Strauss II, P. Grainger, and Puccini; some of the transcriptions are by Mikhashoff, Sgambati and Brassin, others—Thibaudet’s own. Thibaudet was the soloist on the Oscar and Golden Globe-award winning soundtrack of Universal Pictures’ Atonement and the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice. In 2005, Decca released his recording of Strauss’s Burleske with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Among other recordings are Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music, and the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet plays the music of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans, his tribute to two of jazz history’s greats. Thibaudet’s most recent accolade is the 2007 Victoire d’Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honor given by France’s Victoires de la Musique.

    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.


    THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2009, AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009, AT 11 AM

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY, 14, 2009 AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2009, AT 2 PM


    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    ROBERT SPANO, conductor


    VARÈSE Octandre

    GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F

    RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 3

    February 12 Media Sponsor: KUSC

    An opportunity to learn more about the program is free to all ticket holders at Upbeat Live, which takes place in BP Hall one hour prior to each concert. Daniel Kessner, composer, conductor, and flutist, hosts. Friday’s Upbeat Live takes place onstage at 9:45 a.m.

    Tickets ($42 - $147) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17), will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. 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 information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689,; Photos: 213.972.3034