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  • WDCH
  • Jan. 27, 2010
  • The Recital Launches the LA PHIL’s On Location Residency of Emanuel Ax Celebrating the Bicentennials of Chopin and Schumann and Also Features Peter Lieberson’s

    LA Phil-Commissioned Remembering Schumann 

    WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2010, AT 8 PM 

    The Series is Endowed by a Generous Grant from the Colburn Foundation

    Superstar artists Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma share the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall to showcase works by two 19th-century masters, Wednesday, January 27, at 8 p.m. The world-renowned pianist and award-winning celebrity cellist, whose relationship spans three decades, perform a program featuring works by Chopin and Schumann as well as an LA Phil commission from composer Peter Lieberson, a long-time Ma collaborator. The Colburn CelebritySeries recital is the first of three recitals included in the On Location: Emanuel Ax residency, which explores the dualbicentennials of Romantic era composers Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin.

    The program opens with Schumann’s popular Adagio and Allegro, which was originally conceived as a work for horn and piano, followed by his Five Pieces in Folk Style, which included a solo part that could be performed on other instruments. Next on the program is Lieberson’s Remembering Schumann, co-commissioned by the LA Phil, San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall. As the title implies, the piece is inspired by Schumann’s legacy. Lieberson said of Schumann, “…Even as a young man I loved the sensibility of his piano music, but I was also somewhat scared by how unhinged his music could be.”

    The program continues with Chopin’s Polonaise brillante, his first composition for cello and piano. It was written for Prince Antoni Radziwill, a cellist, and his young daughter Wanda, a pianist. This energetic piece is followed by Schumann’s Fantasiestüecke, Op. 73, written around the same time as his Five Pieces in FolkStyle.

    The program closes with Chopin’s Sonata in G minor, written while he was a houseguest of author and feminist George Sand, with whom he had a tumultuous relationship, making for a less than ideal working environment. It took Chopin more than a year to complete the Sonata, and it premiered in1848.

    The similarities between Chopin and Schumann are as remarkable as their differences. Innovators in piano composition as well as talented performers, both artists were prone to shyness, wore their respective hearts on their sleeves, had extraordinary memories and were uneasy with the thought of composing for orchestra. Additionally, both composers’ lives were marked by tragedy including Chopin’s poor health and his death at the age of 39, and Schumann’s suicide attempt before being institutionalized until his death. Conversely, Schumann was well-versed in the Classics and literature, but came from a non-musical family while Chopin was not widely read at all and came from a very musical family. And though both possessed formidable compositional minds, Schumann was more highly regarded as a critic than a composer at the time. In fact, he was responsible for introducing Chopin’s music to the German public.

    The 2009/10 Colburn Celebrity recitals present virtuoso performances by world-renowned artists. Featured are two four-concert series, which includes three recitals anchoring the On Location: Emanuel Ax residency. Future recitals feature Joshua Bell, violin, and Jeremy Denk, piano (February 26, 2010); Emanuel Ax, piano, Dawn Upshaw, soprano and Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion (March 23, 2010); Emanuel Ax, piano (April 20, 2010); and Christine Brewer, soprano (June 1, 2010). Additionally, Ax’s On Location concerts feature Ax playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the orchestra under the direction of LA Phil Associate Conductor Lionel Bringuier, and also presents new works from composers Osvaldo Golijov and Tom Adés.

    For full artist biographies, please visit:

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable locations 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 concerts, children's programming and community concerts, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.

    WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2010, at 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Colburn Celebrity Series

    On Location Artist: Emanuel Ax

    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Yo-yo ma, cello

    SCHUMANN Adagio and Allegro
    SCHUMANN Five Pieces in Folk Style
    LIEBERSON Remembering Schumann (LAPA co-commission)
    CHOPIN Polonaise brillante
    SCHUMANN Fantasiestüecke, Op. 73
    CHOPIN Sonata in G minor

     This series is endowed by a generous grant from the Colburn Foundation.

    Tickets ($17 - $95) 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 Series, 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.

  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034