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  • WDCH
  • Dec. 8, 2002
  • DECEMBER 5, 6, 7 AT 8 PM, AND DECEMBER 8 AT 2:30 PM

    Renowned Pianist Lang Lang is Soloist

    Hometown favorite Zubin Mehta makes his annual return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic podium with a two-week homecoming beginning in concerts December 5-8 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Mehta leads the orchestra in Liszt's Orpheus, Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Tchaikovsky's beloved Piano Concerto No.1, joined by Lang Lang in his downtown subscription debut.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Grand Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Susan Key, a musicologist and consultant on special projects for the San Francisco Symphony, hosts.

    As a composer, Liszt's main contribution to the repertory was the tone poem - a romantic music expression of a legend or visual impression. He composed Orpheus, a tone poem based on the Greek legend of the singer who could charm inanimate objects through art, in Weimar in 1853-1854. Shortly after the work's completion, Orpheus received its premiere in Weimar in February 1854.

    Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra premiered nearly a century after Orpheus. In 1940, Bartók left Hungary to become a voluntary exile in the United States. The death of his mother, his own poor health, and broken spirit kept him from writing a new work. In fact, the ailing composer had decided he wouldn't create music again. Three years later, however, famed conductor Serge Koussevitzky visited Bartók and asked him to compose a piece for the Boston Symphony Orchestra in honor of the conductor's late wife. Inspired by ideas and an escape from New York City to Lake Seranac, Bartók was able to finish the work Koussevitzky commissioned. Concerto for Orchestra premiered on December 1, 1944.

    Concluding the program is Tchaikovsky's adored Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23 - a work that also received its premiere in Boston. On Christmas Eve of 1874, Tchaikovsky took the completed score of this concerto to friend and supporter Nicolai Rubinstein in hopes he would premiere the work. To his surprise, the virtuoso found the piece worthless and unplayable, declaring he would only play it if the composer would suit it to his requirements. Tchaikovsky changed nothing and eventually asked German pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow to premiere the work. Piano Concerto No. 1, premiered October 13, 1875, received many accolades and marked the beginning of a string of performances that increased Tchaikovsky's popularity in America.

    ZUBIN MEHTA currently holds the music directorships of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. His long association with the Israel Philharmonic began in 1969, and in 1981 he was given a lifetime appointment with that orchestra. Mehta served as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1962-1978, during which time he amassed a large discography, took the Philharmonic on tours throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and developed a strong connection to the Southern California community. In 1978, he became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, a post he held for 13 years, longer than any director in that orchestra's history. Mehta's distinguished career includes guest-conducting appearances at the world's major opera houses and concert halls. In addition, he has won renown as an international activist, utilizing musical performance as a forum to promote peace and harmony worldwide.

    Acclaimed in the major concert halls of North America, Europe, and Asia, pianist LANG LANG, at the age of 20, has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to connect with audiences on a deeply personal level and has established himself as one of the most exciting pianists of our time. Since his triumphant last-minute substitution for an indisposed André Watts at the Ravinia Festival in August 1999, Lang Lang has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras, including: the Baltimore Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonia, and the NHK Symphony of Japan. Recital performances in the 2001/2002 season included Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre in Paris, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Born in Shen Yang, China, Lang Lang began his piano studies at the age of three with professor Zhu Ya-Fen from the Shen Yang Conservatory of Music. At age nine, he entered the Central Music Conservatory in Beijing, where he studied with Professor Zhao Ping-Guo. Excelling in all aspects of his classes, he recently graduated from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Gary Graffman, the director of the Institute.


    December 5, 6, 7 (8 PM), and December 8 (2:30 PM)

    Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Ave.)


    ZUBIN MEHTA, conductor

    LANG LANG, piano

    Liszt: Orpheus

    Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Grand Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. Susan Key hosts.

    Tickets ($14 - $82) are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available two hours prior to the performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; Melanie Gravdal, 323/850-2021