The World-Renowned Pianist Performs a Program of Works by Prokofiev and Chopin
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2009, AT 8 PM
The Series is Endowed By a Generous Grant from the Colburn Foundation; Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC
Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall to appear in a Los Angeles Philharmonic Colburn Celebrity Series recital, Monday, March 16, at 8 p.m. The internationally celebrated artist performs a program consisting of works by Prokofiev and Chopin, in his first appearance at Walt Disney Concert Hall since performing during the LA Phil Opening Night benefit gala in 2005 under the baton of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The program opens with Prokofiev’s Three Pieces from Romeo and Juliet. Initially the Kirov Theater in Leningrad requested that Prokofiev develop a score for a ballet based on the Shakespeare play, but then abandoned the idea due to the criticism they received for choosing the play as the subject. The score was requested and abandoned a second time by the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, because the composer had taken liberty and given the piece an upbeat ending. Not to be deterred, Prokofiev developed two orchestral suites from his effort and arranged the Ten Pieces for Piano from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75, in 1937.
Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 8 is part of a cycle of three sonatas – the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth – which came to be known later in the West as the “War Sonatas.” The composer worked on his Fifth Symphony and Eighth Sonata simultaneously and these two works embody what he called “…an expression of the greatness of the human spirit.”
The program continues with works by Chopin – Polonaise-Fantasy; Mazurkas Op. 30, No. 4, Op. 41, No. 4, and Op. 59, No. 1; and Etudes, Op. 10, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12 and Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 5, 6, 11. Chopin’s involvement with the polonaise, a stylized dance form with roots in Polish folk music, encompassed most of his creative life and in all he composed 16 works in the genre. The stylized improvisatory character of the Polonaise-Fantasy differentiates it from Chopin’s previous works in the genre; itwas his last large-scale work. He also spent a great deal of time on mazurkas, publishing 41 in his lifetime. Like the polonaise, the mazurka has roots in folklore and dance and traveled from its modest origin amongst the folk of Poland to the fashionable ballrooms of cities as far off as Paris and London. Chopin’s Twelve Etudes Op. 10 were his major achievement as a composer – each one didactic in nature and presenting a great pianistic challenge. His second set of Etudes, Op. 25, was published in 1837.
Known in particular for his interpretations of Chopin, Evgeny Kissin makes regular recital tours throughout Europe, North America and Asia.
This season, the Colburn Celebrity series includes some of the leading pianists of our time. The final recital of the 2008/09 season features Krystian Zimerman (April 26, 2009).
EVGENY KISSIN was born in Moscow in October 1971, and began to play by ear and improvise on the piano at the age of 2. At the age of 6, he entered a special school for gifted children, the Moscow Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Anna Pavlovna Kantor, who has remained his only teacher. At the age of 10, he made his concerto debut and gave his first solo recital in Moscow one year later. He came to international attention in March 1984 when, at the age of 12, he performed in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow State Philharmonic under Dmitri Kitaenko. This concert was recorded live by Melodia, and a two-LP album was released the following year. During the next two years, several Kissin performances in Moscow were recorded live and five more LPs were released by Melodia. Kissin’s first appearances outside Russia were in 1985 in Eastern Europe, followed a year later by his first tour of Japan. Since then he has made his debut at the Berlin Festival, toured Europe with the Moscow Virtuosi and Vladimir Spivakov and made his London debut with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. He made his first appearance at the BBC Promenade Concerts in London in 1990, and that same year made his North American America debut with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. Musical awards and tributes from around the world have been showered upon Kissin. In 1987, he received the Crystal Prize of the Osaka Symphony Hall for the best performance of the year 1986 (which was his first performance in Japan). In 1991, he received the Musician of the Year Prize from the Chigiana Academy of Music in Siena, Italy. He was special guest at the 1992 Grammy Awards Ceremony, broadcast live to an audience estimated at over one billion, and became Musical America’s youngest Instrumentalist of the Year in 1995. In 1997, he received the prestigious Triumph Award for his outstanding contribution to Russia’s culture, one of the highest cultural honors to be awarded in the Russian Republic, and again, the youngest-ever awardee. He was the first pianist to be invited to give a recital at the BBC Proms (1997), and, in the 2000 season, was the first concerto soloist ever to be invited to play in the Proms opening concert. In May 2001, Kissin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Manhattan School of Music. In December 2003, in Moscow, he received the Shostakovich Award, one of Russia’s highest musical honors. In June 2005, he was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Kissin’s recordings have also received numerous awards and accolades, including the Edison Klassiek in The Netherlands and the Diapason d’Or and the Grande Prix of La Nouvelle Academie du Disque in France, as well as awards from music magazines throughout the world. His recording of works by Scriabin, Medtner and Stravinsky won him a Grammy in 2006 for Best Instrumental Soloist and, in 2002, he was named Echo Klassik Soloist of the Year. His first studio recording, in 1988 for RCA Red Seal, was of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Gergiev/London Symphony Orchestra, and six Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39. He has made concerto recordings with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra (EMI); the Vienna Philharmonic and Giulini as well as the Philharmonia Orchestra and Levine (Sony Classical); the Berlin Philharmonic and Abbado (Deutsche Grammophon); and the Boston Symphony and Ozawa as well as the Moscow Virtuosi and Spivakov (RCA Red Seal). Christopher Nupen’s documentary film, Evgeny Kissin: The Gift of Music, was released in 2000 on video and DVD by RCA Red Seal. Kissin’s musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have placed him at the forefront of the world’s new generation of young pianists. He is in demand the world over, and has appeared with many great conductors, including Abbado, Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Dohnanyi, Giulini, Levine, Maazel, Muti, Ozawa, Svetlanov and Temirkanov, as well as all the world’s major orchestras. He makes regular recital tours to the U.S., Japan and throughout Europe. During the 2008/09 season, Mr. Kissin will give recitals with Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Frankfurt, Munich, Paris and London. He will also play solo recitals throughout Europe, the U.S., Japan and South East Asia.
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:
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2009, AT 8 PM
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Colburn Celebrity Series
EVGENY KISSIN, piano
PROKOFIEV Three Pieces from Romeo and Juliet
PROKOFIEV Sonata No. 8
CHOPIN Mazurkas Op. 30 No. 4, Op. 41 No. 4, and Op. 59, No. 1
CHOPIN Etudes, Op. 10, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12 and Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 5, 6, 11
This concert is generously sponsored by the Colburn Foundation. Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC
Tickets ($17 - $92) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at LAPhil.com, 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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Sophie Jefferies, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.972.3422; Lisa White, email@example.com, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034