• WDCH
  • LAWRENCE FOSTER CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN’S COMPLETE INCIDENTAL MUSIC FOR "EGMONT," JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET PLAYS GRIEG’S PIANO CONCERTO
  • Nov. 30, 2001
  • NOVEMBER 30, DECEMBER 1 AND 2 IN THE DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION

    Egmont features soprano Christine Brandes and narrator Mervon Mehta;

    Concerts feature first Philharmonic performances of George Enescu’s
    Orchestral Suite No. 1, Op. 9

    Distinguished Los Angeles-born conductor Lawrence Foster leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in rarely-heard works by Enescu and Beethoven on a program that also features French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist in Grieg’s beloved Piano Concerto. Concerts take place in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Friday, November 30, at 1:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 1, 8:00 p.m.; and -- as part of this season’s new Sunday Brunch series -- on December 2, at 1:00 p.m.

    Upbeat Live, free pre-concert discussions with John Mangum, take place one hour prior to each performance in the Grand Hall. A gourmet brunch, catered by Patina, begins at 11:00 a.m. in the Grand Hall prior to the concert on Sunday, November 2.

    Foster opens the musical proceedings with the first Los Angeles Philharmonic performances of George Enescu’s Orchestral Suite No. 1, Op. 9, a striking work written in 1902 by the then-21-year-old Romanian composer. Thibaudet’s performances of the Grieg Piano Concerto on this program are part of the pianist’s two-week residency with the orchestra.

    Although Beethoven’s Egmont Overture is frequently heard in the concert hall, the complete incidental music to Goethe’s drama has been performed only three times by the Los Angeles Philharmonic: in August 1931 (Pierre Monteux, conducting), March 1945 (Erich Leinsdorf, conducting) and in March 1973 with Lawrence Foster on the podium. These performances feature soprano Christine Brandes and, in his Philharmonic debut, narrator Mervon Mehta.

    Although Beethoven’s Egmont Overture is frequently heard in the concert hall, the complete incidental music to Goethe’s drama has been performed only three times by the Los Angeles Philharmonic: in August 1931 (Pierre Monteux, conducting), March 1945 (Erich Leinsdorf, conducting) and in March 1973 with Lawrence Foster on the podium. These performances feature soprano Christine Brandes and, in his Philharmonic debut, narrator Mervon Mehta.

    Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg wrote his Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 in 1868, when he was 25 years old. A success from the start, the work was received by the audience at its premiere in Copenhagen (April 3, 1869) with thunderous applause. Piano soloist Edmund Neupert reported afterwards that “the three dangerous critics...applauded with all their might.” In the years since, the concerto has been repeatedly described as inventive, original, sparkling, appealing, exuberant and enchanting. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most frequently performed works in the Romantic repertoire.

    Almost three decades ago, Lawrence Foster brought the full strength and scope of Beethoven’s complete incidental music for Goethe’s dramatic play Egmont to Los Angeles Philharmonic audiences. He has chosen the stirring work, with its uplifting message of triumph over tyranny, as the finale to his current engagement. Beethoven was attracted to Goethe’s Egmont because of his Flemish heritage and Egmont’s legendary role in Holland’s freedom. Beethoven said of himself, “I am an upholder of unlimited liberty and national independence.” The new production of Egmont with Beethoven’s incidental music opened in Vienna on May 10, 1810. The now-famous Overture had not yet been completed; it was premiered at the play’s fourth performance, on June 15th of the same year.

    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.

    Music Director of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and National Orchestra of Catalunya since 1996, American conductor LAWRENCE FOSTER is internationally acclaimed for his work with orchestras and opera companies over more than three decades. Formerly Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, Foster has also held the posts of Music Director of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Symphony; Principal Conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra; and Chief Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Born in Los Angeles in 1941, Foster made his professional debut at the age of 18 with the newly formed orchestra of young musicians, the Debut Orchestra, subsequently becoming its Music Director. During that time he also served as conductor of the San Francisco Ballet. From 1965 to 1968, Foster was Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, forging a close relationship with the Orchestra that has included regular appearances over the years both during the winter and summer concert seasons. Foster has also been associated with the Los Angeles Opera since its inaugural season in 1986, when he presided over the company’s debut production, Otello, starring Placido Domingo.

    French pianist JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET, renowned for his elegant and sophisticated playing, appears with major orchestras and ensembles worldwide and is a prolific and highly-praised recording artist. The versatile musician’s diverse repertoire extends beyond the classical literature into the jazz genre. His 1997 CD featuring compositions of the late jazz great Bill Evans received Germany’s Echo Award for 1998. Born in 1961 in Lyons, Thibaudet began playing piano at age 5. He studied at the Conservatory in Lyons and at the Paris Conservatory, winning the premier Prix du Conservatoire at age 15. He went on to capture top prizes at International Competitions in Italy, Japan and the U.S., including the 1981 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. Thibaudet’s current two-week residency with the Los Angeles Philharmonic includes concerto performances at two subscription programs (Gershwin Concerto in F, Nov. 23, 24 & 25; Grieg Concerto, Nov. 30, Dec. 1 & 2); performances of Ravel’s Violin Sonata and Poulenc’s Piano and Wind Sextet on the November 26 Chamber Music series event; a jazz concert on November 27 at The Knitting Factory (7021 Hollywood Blvd.; tickets $15); a visit with elementary school students who will also observe the pianist in rehearsal, and a piano master class (open to the public) at the Colburn School following the matinee concert on November 30.

    Soprano CHRISTINE BRANDES has won wide acclaim for her performances in North America and abroad, in recitals, chamber music, oratorio and opera. She made her Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in the Orchestra’s Los Angeles and Ojai Festival performances of Berlioz’ L’Enfant et les sortileges, under the direction of Simon Rattle, in May/June 2000. This past August, Brandes sang Bach and Vivaldi works at the Philharmonic’s two Baroque programs with conductor Nicholas McGegan. Other recent concert appearances have included performances of Handel’s Solomon with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under McGegan; Bach’s Magnificat and arias from Giulio Cesare with the Cleveland Orchestra and John Nelson; and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Handel & Haydn Society. On the operatic stage her roles have included Morgana in Handel’s Alcina with Opera de Nancy, Drusilla in Opera Columbus’ L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Alceste in the Göttingen Handel Festival’s production of Arianna. Brandes’ most recent recording is a collection of Scarlatti cantatas with McGegan and the Arcadian Academy on Conifer Classics.

    Actor MERVON MEHTA has previously performed Beethoven’s Egmont with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester (England) and with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, both under the baton of Lawrence Foster. Last summer he made his Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut reciting the Richard Dehmel poem upon which Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht is based. Mehta received his training under the late Sanford Meisner in New York, where he performed in regional theatre, on television and was a founding member of the Neighborhood Group Theatre. In his native Canada, Mehta has appeared in Hamlet (Laertes), Julius Caesar (Marulus/Messala), The Taming of the Shrew (Lucentio), The Secret Garden (Craven) and Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik). He performed in numerous productions in two seasons at the Stratford Festival, where he was a recipient of the Tyrone Guthrie Award. Since moving to Chicago in 1993, Mehta has been active in the city’s vibrant theatrical life. His television credits include performances in The Untouchables, Choices (with George C. Scott), Romeo and Juliet, and daytime soap operas

    EDITORS - PLEASE NOTE:

    Friday, November 30, 1 PM

    Saturday, December 1, 8 PM

    Sunday, December 2, 1 PM


    Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    LAWRENCE FOSTER, conductor

    JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET, pianist

    CHRISTINE BRANDES, soprano

    MERVON MEHTA, narrator

    Enescu: Orchestral Suite No. 1

    Grieg: Piano Concerto

    Beethoven: Egmont (complete incidental music)

    Upbeat Live, free pre-concert discussion by John Mangum, takes place one hour prior to performances.

    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.

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  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, (323) 850-2047; Rachelle Roe, (323) 850-2032