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  • WDCH
  • Krystian Zimerman Makes His Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut
  • Apr. 26, 2009
  • Recital Concludes the LA PHIL’s 2008/09 Colburn Celebrity Series

    SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2009, AT 7:30 PM

    The Series is Endowed By a Generous Grant from the Colburn Foundation; Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC

    Pianist Krystian Zimerman makes his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2008/09 Colburn Celebrity series, Sunday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. The talented musician presents a program that includes works by composers in which he has achieved great expertise – the three B’s, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, in addition to Zimerman’s Polish compatriot Karol Szymanowski.

    The program opens with Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826, followed by Beethoven’s technically demanding Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, the composer’s last piano sonata. The program continues with Brahms’ Klavierstücke, Op. 119, his final published work for the piano, and concludes with Szymanowski’s Variations on a Polish Theme, Op. 10, a substantial piece started when the composer was still in his teens.

    Zimerman is known for his exacting standards – it has frequently been noted that every performance seems to be thoroughly thought through to the most minute detail – and is regarded as one of the great pianists of today. He last gave a Los Angeles Philharmonic performance in 1995 as part of the celebrity recital series.

    This season, the Colburn Celebrity series included some of the leading pianists of our time as well as a masterful violinist. The Zimerman recital is the final performance in the 2008/09 series.

    KRYSTIAN ZIMERMAN comes from a family with rich music-making traditions and grew up surrounded by music. At the age of 7, under his father’s supervision, he started working with Andrzej Jasinski, a senior lecturer at the music conservatory in Katowice, Poland. This tutorship was crowned by Zimerman's graduation, 14 years later, from the conservatory there. Though not one for contests, Zimerman has earned the highest awards at several prestigious competitions devoted to Russian and Polish music and to the works of particular composers (Prokofiev and Beethoven). There followed the Grand Prix at the Chopin Competition of 1975, which paved the way for performances in concert halls worldwide. The 27 years of Zimerman's artistic activity have been marked by regular meetings with his own dedicated audiences and for the last 12 seasons he has traveled with his own concert piano. Zimerman's comparatively early acquaintance with the main developments of European music-German, Russian, French and others stirred in him the ambition of performing music in the place and culture of its origin: French works in Paris; Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert in Vienna; Brahms in Hamburg; American music played in New York and, in one notable instance, conducted by the composer himself-Leonard Bernstein. Witold Lutoslawski's honorable dedication of his Piano Concerto to Krystian Zimerman inspired the pianist to a similar treatment of that work: it was self-evident that it should be performed in Warsaw during the Warsaw Autumn Festival of Contemporary Music, with the composer as conductor. During each of his New York recitals, he has taken care to perform a Polish composition as part of the program or as an encore. For several consecutive seasons he performed Karol Szymanowski's works in principal music centers on three continents. His encounters with pre-eminent musicians-performers of chamber music and conductors-have been, he claims, his greatest luck. He has repeatedly performed with Kaja Danczowska, Kyung-Wha Chung, Gidon Kremer and about 40 other celebrities of the musical world. In addition to the piano, Zimerman is also an exceedingly keen organist, which has allowed him to grasp and fashion the musical form in its horizontal dimension. He has also enriched his knowledge of conducting due to collaboration with the most illustrious conductors of his time: Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, André Previn, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sir Simon Rattle and numerous others. During his more than 25-year collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, Zimerman has made two dozen recordings, for which he has frequently received the most prestigious record awards. In his most recent CD for DG, released internationally in March 2006, he teamed up with Sir Simon Rattle for the recording of Brahms' First Piano Concerto. His critically-acclaimed recording of the Rachmaninoff Concertos with the Boston Symphony and Seiji Ozawa received the 2004 Record Academy Award in Japan, as well as the 2005 award for Best Orchestral Album at the Midem Classical Awards. In addition to his recording awards, Zimerman recently received the "Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur," the highest civilian award given by the French government. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Katowice Music Academy, which carries special distinction, as it is only the second time in the University's history that an honorary doctorate has been awarded. Zimerman and his family live in Switzerland, where he has spent the greater part of his life, dividing his time between family, concerts, performances of chamber music. When not touring or building pianos, he has been editing piano editions of the works of Wladislav Spielman for Boosey and Hawkes and writing a piece on aesthetics, which was published in Poland in March 2005.

    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.


    SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2009, AT 7:30 PM

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

    Colburn Celebrity Series


    BACH Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

    BRAHMS Klavierstücke, Op. 119

    SZYMANOWSKI Variations on a Polish Theme, Op. 10

    The series is endowed by a generous grant from 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, 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,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034