British Pianist Paul Lewis Performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2
TUESDAY AND THURSDAY, JULY 14 and 16, 2009, AT 8 PM
The July 14 Concert is Generously Sponsored by Fidelity Investments; July 14 Media Sponsor: KUSC
Bramwell Tovey, in his second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, leads the orchestra in an all-Beethoven program, Tuesday and Thursday, July 14 and 16, at 8 p.m. Also featured is fellow-Brit, pianist Paul Lewis, for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Lewis, who makes his Bowl debut, earned Gramophone’s 2008 Record of the Year for the last volume of his complete recordings of Beethoven piano sonatas.
The program opens with the Egmont Overture, which Beethoven wrote for the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe play. The music provides an illustrative summary of the play’s elements – heroism, love, struggle and victory – and, as with his other pieces written for the stage, can be thought of as a precursor to today’s film scores. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in B-flat, published as No. 2, was in fact, his first in order of composing. The piece debuted at a charity concert in the Burgtheater in March of 1795. The program closes with Symphony No. 2, which was mostly written during the summer of 1802, when Beethoven had moved to the Viennese suburb of Heiligenstadt in a futile attempt to preserve his deteriorating hearing. Though dark in the beginning, the piece, overall, reveals little of the composer’s misery.
Recently branded the “…the hottest hot-weather conductor in America right now…" by The Baltimore Sun, Bramwell Tovey continues both his second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and his sixth season as founding host and conductor of the New York Philharmonic’s Summertime Classics series at Avery Fisher Hall in summer 2009.
Paul Lewis is one of the most sought-after artists of his generation; celebrated for his considered and profound interpretations of the classical repertoire, and widely recognized as one of today’s most distinctive and poetic pianists. Between 2005 and 2007, he performed and recorded a complete cycle of the Beethoven piano sonatas at venues across Europe and the U.S, leading Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times to say, “There are many prized recordings of the Beethoven sonatas from past masters and current artists. But if I had to recommend a single complete set, I would suggest Mr. Lewis’s distinguished recordings...His playing is honest and beautifully detailed, with impressive clarity and no compromises."
A musician of striking versatility, BRAMWELL TOVEY is acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and his warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Tovey’s career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective. His tenures as music director with the Vancouver Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras have been characterized by his expertise in operatic, choral, British and contemporary repertoire. The 2008/09 season held many highlights for Tovey. In the fall of his ninth season with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the conductor took the ensemble on tour to China and South Korea with guest artist Hillary Hahn. The first orchestra from Canada to perform in China in 30 years, the tour was capped by a performance at the Beijing Music Festival – another first for a Canadian symphony. Upon returning to Vancouver, Tovey led the orchestra through an in-depth Brahms Festival, featuring all four symphonies, the two piano concertos and the violin concerto. The Brahms Violin concerto was performed with violinist James Ehnes who, along with the VSO, won both a Grammy Award and a Juno Award in 2007 for a CBC recording of violin concertos by Walton, Korngold and Barber. Other special guest artists during the season include violinist Joshua Bell as well as a joint performance by celebrated vocalists Samuel Ramey and Frederica von Stade. An esteemed guest conductor, Tovey has worked with orchestras in Europe and the UK including the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra as well as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra which he revisits this season. Tovey’s other debuts include performances with the Ulster and Helsingborg Orchestras and Opera North. He also made his Australian debut in fall 2008 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and guest artist Christian Tetzlaff. In North America, along with his work with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Tovey has made guest appearances with the orchestras of Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal as well as ongoing performances with Toronto, where he conducted during the 2008/09 season. With a profound commitment to new music, Tovey has established himself as a formidable composer and is the first artist to win a Juno Award in both conducting and composing. He has been commissioned by the Calgary Opera to compose the company’s third original full-length opera. Written with librettist John Murrell, this work is based on the extraordinary life of Alexander “Sandy” Keith, a notorious 19th century con artist and criminal from Halifax, Nova Scotia. An immense undertaking, the piece will premiere in Calgary in January of 2011. Tovey’s other accomplishments as a composer include receiving the Best Canadian Classical Composition 2003 Juno Award for his Requiem for a Charred Skull, performed and recorded by the Amadeus Choir and the Hannaford Band in Toronto.
PAUL LEWIS’s many awards and prizes have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award and the South Bank Show Classical Music Award, both in 2003, a Diapason d’or de l’annee in France in 2002, two successive Edison awards in Holland in 2004 and 2005, and the Gramophone Instrumental Award and Record of the Year in 2008. In 2006, he was awarded the 25th Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. Between 2005 and 2007, he performed the complete Beethoven Sonatas at venues throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaim, and his recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas for Harmonia Mundi have received unanimous praise throughout the world. Lewis is a regular guest at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals including the BBC Proms, appearing at the televised “Last Night” in 2005, the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Roque d’Antheron Piano Festival, and the Klavier Festival Ruhr. He has a particularly strong relationship with London’s Wigmore Hall where he has appeared on more than 30 occasions. Lewis has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and most esteemed conductors. Recent highlights have included opening the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York with Beethoven’s 5th concerto, concerts in New York, Chicago, Milan and Turin with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, a European tour with the Bournemouth Symphony and Marin Alsop, a complete Beethoven Concerto cycle with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko, recitals at the Schleswig Holstein and Rheingau festivals, and an extensive tour of the U.S. with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Solo recitals have taken him to venues such as Toppan Hall Tokyo, Symphony Centre Chicago, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Tonhalle Zurich, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Plans for 2009 and beyond include a busy international schedule of recitals, concerts with the London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, a solo recital tour of Australia with Musica Viva, duo recitals with Mark Padmore and Steven Osborne, a recital at the Royal Festival Hall in 2010, and the start of a two year Schubert project from 2011. Future recording plans feature Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, the complete Beethoven Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jiri Belohlavek, and the three Schubert song cycles with Mark Padmore, all for Harmonia Mundi. Paul Lewis studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. Along with his wife the Norwegian cellist Bjørg Lewis, he is artistic director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK. www.midsummermusic.org.uk
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 42nd season. In January 2009, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fifth year in a row at the 20th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2009, AT 8 PM
THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2009, AT 8 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave.
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
BRAMWELL TOVEY, conductor
PAUL LEWIS, piano
Piano Concerto No. 2
Symphony No. 2
The July 14 concert is generously sponsored by Fidelity Investments.; July 14 Media Sponsor: KUSC
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