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  • The English Concert Led by Harry Bicket Comes to Walt Disney Concert Hall in La Phil 2008/09 Baroque Variations Series Performance
  • Mar. 24, 2009
  • Evening Features Countertenor David Daniels

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2009, AT 8 PM

    The English Concert, led by celebrated Baroque specialist Harry Bicket, comes to Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tuesday, March 24, at 8 p.m., as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2008/09 Baroque Variations series. Critically-acclaimed countertenor David Daniels joins the program of Handel and Bach in his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut. The performance also marks Bicket’s Walt Disney Concert Hall debut.

    The evening’s works include Bach’s Suite No. 1 in C, BWV 1066; “Vergnügte Ruh” from Cantata No. 170 and “Qui sedes” from Mass in B minor, both featuring Daniels; Sinfonia from Cantata No. 42, “Schlummert ein” from Cantata No. 82 and “Erbarme dich” from St. Matthew Passion, both featuring Daniels. The Handel works include Concerto Grosso in A, Op. 6, No. 11; “Ombra cara” from Radamisto and “Furibondo” from Partenope, both featuring Daniels; Act II Passacaglia from Radamisto; and Mad Scene from Orlando, with Daniels.

    The English Concert is among the finest chamber orchestras in the world, with an outstanding reputation for inspiring performances of Baroque and Classical music in the concert hall and on recordings. Bicket, who assumed the position of The English Concert’s artistic director in 2007, is internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of great distinction and especially noted for his interpretation of Baroque and Classical repertoire.

    American countertenor David Daniels is known for his superlative artistry, magnetic stage presence, and a voice of singular warmth and surpassing beauty, which have helped him redefine his voice category for the modern public. He has appeared with the world’s major opera companies and on its main concert and recital stages and made history as the first countertenor to give a solo recital in the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall. The Chicago Tribune has called Daniels “today’s gold standard among countertenors.”

    Following his recorded excursions into repertoire rarely sung by countertenors, Daniels has been heard most recently on a stunning all-Bach recital with the English Concert and conductor Harry Bicket that features the composer’s incomparably sublime sacred arias and cantatas. The album was released in fall 2008 on Virgin Classics at the time Daniels and the English Concert began a highly successful European tour.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s Baroque Variations offers presentations of Baroque music on both period and modern instruments, performed by some of the world’s most admired ensembles and soloists. The 2008/09 four-concert series concludes April 21, 2009, with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

    THE ENGLISH CONCERT presents a prestigious series of concerts in London each season at Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall appearing also at London festivals, including the BBC Proms, the Spitalfields Festival, and the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, in addition to extensive touring. In the U.K. it visits the major summer festivals and has developed a particularly close relationship with St George’s Bristol. Internationally, The English Concert performs on four continents. Since 2005 it has toured the United States, Australia, Korea and Malaysia, in addition to 10 European countries, and since its foundation by Trevor Pinnock in 1973 has appeared on the world’s most famous stages, including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Musikverein Vienna, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Philharmonie Berlin, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and the Grosse Festspielhaus Salzburg. Among the most recorded of chamber orchestras, it has made more than 100 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon Archiv Produktion, including many award winners, and a series of critically-acclaimed CDs for Harmonia Mundi USA with violinist Andrew Manze, who succeeded Trevor Pinnock as Artistic Director in 2003. Highlights of recent seasons include Heinrich Biber’s rediscovered Missa Christi Resurgentis, Mozart’s re-orchestration of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast for the BBC Proms, Jonathan Dove’s Köthener Mass for the Spitalfields Festival, and a triumphant 13-city U.S. tour in autumn 2006 featuring Mozart violin concertos. Their recording of Handel scenes and arias with Mark Padmore has been widely praised. In September 2007, Harry Bicket became the third artistic director in the orchestra’s 34-year history. Bicket is renowned worldwide for his performances of Baroque opera with many of the greatest singers of the age, and forthcoming seasons will include exciting collaborations with David Daniels, Vesselina Kasarova, Anna-Caterina Antonacci, Mark Padmore, and others. The orchestra also regularly invites leading guest directors to work with it, and in appearing in London and abroad with oboist Alfredo Bernardini, violinist Fabio Biondi, and harpsichordists Laurence Cummings, Kenneth Weiss, and Matthew Halls.

    Internationally-renowned as an opera and concert conductor of great distinction, HARRY BICKET is especially noted for his interpretation of Baroque and Classical repertoire, and in September 2007 took up the position of Artistic Director of The English Concert, one of the UK’s finest period orchestras. Born in Liverpool, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University and is also an accomplished harpsichordist. Bicket made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 1996 with Peter Sellars’ landmark production of Theodora and returned in 1999 and 2003. In 2004, he began his relationship with the Metropolitan Opera with a triumphant debut conducting a new production of Rodelinda with Renée Fleming and David Daniels, and was immediately re-engaged for Cesare in the 2006/07 season and Clemenza di Tito in 2008. He made his debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2000 (Rinaldo, new production) and returned every year until 2007. In 2001, his first Barcelona production, Giulio Cesare, earned him the Opera Critics Prize for best conductor. He has since returned for Midsummer Night’s Dream (2005) and Ariodante (2006). The year 2003 saw debuts with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducting Partenope, and with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden conducting Handel’s Orlando, which received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Opera Production. Bicket has a strong following in Europe and North America, and has appeared widely with period orchestras and ensembles, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, and the Handel and Haydn Society, as well as festivals such as Glimmerglass, Spoleto, Aspen and Santa Fe. He has also recently enjoyed great success with leading mainstream symphonic orchestras – his programs often showcase his gift for choral repertoire, from the great passions, masses, and oratorios of the Baroque and Classical eras to the works of Fauré, Elgar and Tippett – and his New York Philharmonic debut in 2006 resulted in an immediate re-invitation. Guest conducting has also included appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, the Bayerische Rundfunk, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, the Houston Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the NACO Ottawa, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony. Bicket has also worked with the major opera houses around the world. His discography includes five recordings with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightement, including a collection of Handel opera arias with Renée Fleming (Decca) and Ian Bostridge (EMI), as well as selections from Handel’s Theodora, Serse, and the cantata La Lucrezia with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Avie), which was nominated for a Grammy. His Gramophone award-nominated CDs include Sento Amor with David Daniels, featuring arias by Gluck, Handel, and Mozart (Virgin Veritas) and Il tenero momento with Susan Graham, featuring arias by Mozart and Gluck (Erato). His latest recording – and first with The English Concert – features Bach arias and cantatas with David Daniels (Virgin Classics) and was released in 2008 to outstanding reviews.

    DAVID DANIELS was recently acknowledged by Gramophone magazine for his contribution to recorded excellence as well as his expansion of the repertoire for his voice type by naming him one of the “Top Ten Trailblazers” in classical music today. The 2008/09 season takes Daniels to many of Europe’s musical capitals. He makes his debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. He sings Arsace in a new Pierre Audi production of Handel’s Partenope at Vienna’s innovative Theater an der Wien, conducted by Christophe Rousset. He also returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper in the title role of Handel’s Tamerlano. He tours both Europe and America with frequent collaborator Harry Bicket and The English Concert, including performances in London, Toulouse, Vienna, Munich, Vancouver, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles (Walt Disney Concert Hall) and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. This tour coincides with the release of his latest disc on Virgin/EMI of the music of Bach with The English Concert. Daniels performed Giulio Cesare to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera (under Bicket) and at the Glyndebourne Festival (under Haim). At the Met he also portrayed Orfeo in a new Mark Morris production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, conducted by James Levine. He returned to LA Opera as Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea opposite Susan Graham. In concert Daniels made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic performing Bach’s B-minor Mass, performed solo arias with the St. Louis and Seattle symphonies, and toured various European cities with the Le Point du Jour ensemble. As much at home in recital as on the opera stage, Daniels has won admiration for his performances of extensive concert and art song repertoire, including song literature of the 19th and 20th centuries not usually associated with his voice type. Daniels has given recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center; at Munich’s Prinzregententheater and Vienna’s Konzerthaus; in Barcelona’s Teatre del Liceu; at the Edinburgh, Tanglewood, and Ravinia Festivals; as well as in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Lisbon, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington. His French recital debut was a sold-out performance at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. Daniels is an exclusive Virgin Classics recording artist, with several critically-acclaimed and best-selling solo albums to his credit, as well as Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in a disc with soprano Dorothea Röschmann and conductor Fabio Biondi. Showing his diverse musical personality, his previous release featured Berlioz’s song cycle Les nuits d’été, and also included songs by Ravel and Fauré. Past years’ releases include A Quiet Thing (with guitarist Craig Ogden), and a recording of Handel’s Rinaldo on the Decca label in which he sang the title role opposite Cecilia Bartoli, and which received a Gramophone Editor’s Choice Album of the Year award in 2002. His debut disc was Handel: Opera Arias conducted by Sir Roger Norrington, followed by Sento Amor, with arias by Mozart, Gluck and Handel, and Serenade, a recital of songs by Beethoven, Gounod, Poulenc, Schubert, and others, with his frequent piano partner Martin Katz. Honored by the music world for his unique achievements, Daniels has been the recipient of two of classical music’s most significant awards: Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 1999 and the 1997 Richard Tucker Award.

    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:

    TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2009, AT 8 PM


    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles



    BAROQUE VARIATIONS Series



    THE ENGLISH CONCERT

    HARRY BICKET, director, harpsichord, organ

    DAVID DANIELS, countertenor



    BACH Suite No. 1 in C, BWV 1066

    BACH “Vergnügte Ruh” from Cantata No. 170

    BACH “Qui sedes” from Mass in B minor

    BACH Sinfonia from Cantata No. 42

    BACH “Schlummert ein” from Cantata No. 82

    BACH “Erbarme dich” from St. Matthew Passion

    HANDEL Concerto Grosso in A, Op. 6, No. 11

    HANDEL “Ombra cara” from Radamisto

    HANDEL “Furibondo” from Partenope

    HANDEL Act II Passacaglia from Radamisto

    HANDEL Mad Scene from Orlando

    Tickets ($36 - $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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  • contact:

    Sophie Jefferies, sjefferies@laphil.org, 213.972.3422; Lisa White, lwhite@laphil.org, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034