The Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, perform works by Arnold Schoenberg and Ludwig van Beethoven during the first weekend of concerts in the 2001/2002 subscription season. The program is the first of four in this season’s Schoenberg Prism, the city-wide celebration of the composer’s music in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death. Concerts take place at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, October 7 at 2:30 p.m. The concerts also feature a pre-concert discussion with Schoenberg’s three children, Lawrence Schoenberg, Ronald Schoenberg, and Nuria Schoenberg Nono, in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Grand Hall one hour before each performance. A conversation with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Emanuel Ax, moderated by Los Angeles Philharmonic Executive Vice-President and Managing Director Deborah Borda, follows the concert on October 5.
The Prism places Schoenberg’s works alongside those of other great composers, revealing his debt to the towering figures of the past, as well as his own stature as a revolutionary and visionary. The first Prism program opens with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80, an inspired piece for piano, orchestra, chorus, and soloists that gradually emerges from its stormy, troubled opening to a resplendent celebration of the power of art. Pianist Emanuel Ax joins Salonen, the Philharmonic, Pacific Chorale, and six vocal soloists.
Ax will also take on the solo part of Schoenberg’s 1942 Piano Concerto, Op. 42. Schoenberg composed the work while living here in Los Angeles and teaching at UCLA, a refugee from the horrors of war and Holocaust terrorizing Europe at the time. The closing work on the concert, Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, showcases Salonen and the orchestra. Beethoven’s symphony, with its four-note opening motive known the world over, charts a course similar to that of the Choral Fantasy, moving from the turbulent stress of the first movement to the radiant expanse of the finale.
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October, 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the Orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen’s activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, seven critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Orchestra for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world’s most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia of London from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.
EMANUEL AX first captured public attention in 1974 when, at age 25, he won the First Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists and, four years later, the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. He has been an exclusive Sony Classical recording artist since 1987, and his newest releases include period-instrument performances of Chopin’s complete works for piano and orchestra and the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Bernard Haitink and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, Ax has turned his attention toward the music of contemporary composers, giving the world premieres of John Adams’ Century Rolls in September 1997 with the Cleveland Orchestra, Christopher Rouse’s Seeing for Piano and Orchestra in May 1999 with the New York Philharmonic, and Bright Sheng’s Red Silk Dance in January 2000 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ax regularly performs chamber music with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, and Isaac Stern.
Since 1968, PACIFIC CHORALE has been providing national and international audiences with great choral music performed at the highest musical standards. Under John Alexander’s direction, Pacific Chorale produces a series of concerts each year at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Pacific Chorale also performs regularly with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, and the Long Beach Symphony. In addition, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and the Ojai Festival Orchestra. Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America, and Asia, performing with orchestras in London, Paris, Belgium, Estonia, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, and Hong Kong. The Chorale was awarded the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence by Chorus America, and in 1997, it was the first recipient of Chorus America’s Educational Outreach Award. The Chorale’s concerts are broadcast on KMZT, 105.1 FM, and they can also be heard on seven compact discs, including the Pacific Symphony’s recording of Elliot Goldenthal’s Fire, Water, Paper: A Vietnam Oratorio and the Chorale’s newest recording, Nocturne, which features music by Whitacre, Alexander, Persichetti, Ticheli, and Barber.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
Friday, October 5, 8 PM
Saturday, October 6, 8 PM
Sunday, October 7, 2:30 PM
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Los Angeles Philharmonic
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor
EMANUEL AX, piano
PACIFIC CHORALE (John Alexander, director)
RENEE SOUSA, soprano; LAURA DECHER, soprano
HEIDI HERZOG, mezzo-soprano; JOSEPH MATHIEU, tenor
JAMES MARTIN SCHAEFER, baritone; NMON FORD, baritone
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy, Op. 80
Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Single tickets ($12-$78) are available at the Philharmonic’s Music Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, Tu Música, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 213/365-3500. Tickets are also available on-line at www.laphil.org. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount; call 323/850-2050. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available 2 hours prior to the performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. For further information, please call 323/850-2000.
Elizabeth Hinckley 213/972-3034; Rachelle Roe 213/972-7310