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  • WDCH
  • Apr. 22, 2003

    HK Gruber leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in works by three of Austria's leading composers, including the U.S. premieres of his own Timescapes and Kurt Schwertsik's Transformation Music, at the Green Umbrella series concert on Tuesday, April 22, 8 p.m. in Zipper Hall. Eight Movements after Hölderlin Fragments by Friedrich Cerha completes the program.

    Cerha, Gruber and Schwertsik have been closely associated for more than four decades as Viennese composers of international renown and as performing colleagues. In 1958 Cerha and Schwertsik co-founded Vienna's acclaimed new music ensemble "die reihe" to provide a performing vehicle for the "new Viennese school" they represent; Gruber joined the ensemble as double bassist in 1961, subsequently becoming its music director.

    Schwertsik's Verwandlungsmusik ("Transformation Music"), which opens the program, is drawn from his fairytale opera Fanferlizzy Sunnyfeet (1982/83), which was commissioned by Stuttgart Opera for its new Kammertheater. The work is in 10 sections: Little Overture, Triumph March and Trio, After Munkelwust, Fanfare, Castles in the Air, Lullaby, Parade, Vigil, Little Finale, and After-dance.

    Cerha's Eight Movements after Hölderlin Fragments for string sextet was composed in 1995 and premiered the following March in Cologne by the Arditti String Quartet with violist Thomas Kakuska and cellist Valentin Erben. Although the score contains the printed text of the Hölderlin poetry on which the fragments are based, Cerha treated the "speech-melodies" he discerned in the texts freely; in fact, the last movement does not rely on the texts at all.
    Gruber's Zeitfluren ("Timescapes") is a co-commission between the London Sinfonietta, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, and European Music Month, Basel. "I'm fortunate in knowing the players of the London Sinfonietta very well, as is also the case with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group," Gruber said in an interview about the new work. "I count them as my friends and they are very gifted people….Timescapes is not a concerto which turns spotlights unduly onto solo instruments. My experience playing in orchestras has informed me that collective argument is what counts - this is democracy in action. However there are plenty of individual virtuoso challenges for the players - with these groups I always feel I can ask for more." In Timescapes, Gruber strives to recreate a Roaring Twenties sound - nostalgic, energetic, intelligent, positive, and timeless.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella Series features new music performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    HK (Heinz Karl) GRUBER was born in Vienna in 1943, was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, and studied at the Vienna Hochschule fur Musik. In 1961 he began playing double bass with the ensemble 'die reihe,' and from 1969 to 1998 he was a member of the Radio Symphony Orchestra - Vienna. Since 1997 he has devoted his time to composing, conducting and performance as chansonnier. Gruber's best-known composition is the neo-gothic 'pan-demonium' Frankenstein!!, which was premiered in 1978 by Simon Rattle and the Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra. Since then, it has been performed worldwide in concerts, staged performances, on television and on film, with the composer often taking the role as chansonnier. Gruber has also written two violin concertos for Ernst Kovacic; a cello concerto for Yo-Yo Ma; a trumpet concerto, Ariel, for Håkan Hardenberger which the instrumentalist performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic last March; a percussion concerto, Rough Music; a Concerto for Orchestra; and two operas, Gomorra and Gloria; among other works. He regularly conducts contemporary music with ensembles here and abroad. He began performing as a singer/actor with the 'MOB art and tone ART' ensemble, a group he co-founded in 1968 with Kurt Schwertsik and Otto Zykan. He appears extensively in his own work, Frankenstein!!, and also in Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King.


    Tuesday, April 22, 8 PM


    Zipper Hall, Colburn School


    HK GRUBER, conductor

    KURT SCHWERTSIK: Verwandlungsmusik (U.S. Premiere)

    FRIEDRICH CERHA: Eight Movements after Holderlin Fragments

    HK GRUBER: Zeitfluren (U.S. Premiere)

    Tickets ($26) are on sale now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Tickets are also available on-line at For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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