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  • WDCH
  • Jan. 29, 2002

    2001/2002 Green Umbrella Series

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group celebrates its twentieth anniversary with a special Green Umbrella concert on Tuesday, January 29 at 8 p.m. at Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. The evening’s program features two works by former composers-in-residence, William Kraft (Double Trio) and John Harbison (Concerto for Clarinet, Oboe and Strings), as well as the U.S. premiere of Steven Stucky’s Etudes for recorder with Michala Petri, for whom the piece was written. Closing the program is Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images After Sappho, performed by soprano Laura Claycomb, who sang its premiere at the Ojai Festival in 1999.

    Tickets ($26) are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 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 For further information, please call 323/850-2000.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group was launched in 1981, under composer-in-residence and Philharmonic percussionist William Kraft, as one of several contemporary music projects envisioned and organized by the Philharmonic's Managing Director at the time, Ernest Fleischmann. Kraft headed the ensemble from 1981-85 and was followed by two other leading American composers: John Harbison (New Music Advisor and later Composer-in-Residence from 1985-88) and Steven Stucky (currently the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music).

    Praised for its imaginative programming and expert and enthusiastic performances, the New Music Group is recognized as one of the premier performing groups of its kind in the country. John Adams, Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, Magnus Lindberg, Witold Lutoslawski, and many other composers have appeared as guest conductors with the ensemble. In 1989, the Green Umbrella series was inaugurated; this acclaimed series presents performances by the CalArts New Century Players and ensembles from USC and UC San Diego, as well as concerts by the New Music Group.

    Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, who has conducted the ensemble in regular visits to New York's Lincoln Center, gave a highly successful series of concerts in Paris with the New Music Group in 1996. In recognition of the work of the New Music Group, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has presented 15 awards to the Philharmonic, most recently in 1995. In May 1996, the New Music Group received the Laurel Leaf Award of the American Composers Alliance.

    WILLIAM KRAFT has enjoyed a long and active career as composer, conductor, percussionist and teacher. From 1981 to 1985 he was the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s composer-in-residence and the first director of the Philharmonic New Music Group. He had previously served as a member of the Orchestra’s percussion section for 26 years - 18 of them as Principal Timpanist - and he served as the Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor for three years. In 1994, he was one of several composers who honored the Philharmonic in its 75th Anniversary Season by writing a celebratory fanfare for the Orchestra. Kraft has received numerous honors and awards, including two Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards, two Guggenheim Fellowships, two Ford Foundation commissions, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Major orchestras in America, Europe, and Japan have performed his works. He has served for many years as chair of the composition department of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    JOHN HARBISON is one of America's most prominent composers. Among his principal works are three string quartets, three symphonies, the cantata The Flight Into Egypt, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and three operas including The Great Gatsby commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera and premiered to great acclaim in December 1999. Last season saw the premieres of Partita, a Minnesota Orchestra centennial commission, the ensemble version of Mottetti di Montale, the song cycle North and South by the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and Six American Painters for flute and chamber ensemble. Harbison is composing a piano sonata for Robert Levin and a two-piano concerto for Randall Hodkinson and Leslie Amper. Harbison has also been composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Tanglewood, Marlboro, and Santa Fe Chamber Festivals, and the American Academy in Rome. His music has been performed by many of the world's leading ensembles, and more than 30 of his compositions have been recorded on many recording labels. As conductor, Harbison has led a number of leading orchestras and chamber groups among them the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony. Born in New Jersey in 1938, he was improvising on the piano by five years of age and subsequently studied at Harvard and Princeton University. He is on the faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Aspen Music Festival.

    Widely recognized as one of the leading American composers of his generation, STEVEN STUCKY has written commissioned works for the Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Baltimore Symphonies, for the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, and for Chanticleer, the Boston Musica Viva, the Camerata Bern, and the Koussevitzky Foundation. During his long association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Composer-in-Residence (1988-92), New Music Advisor (1992-2000), and now Consulting Composer for New Music, he has written several works for the orchestra, including Angelus (1990), Funeral Music for Queen Mary (1992), Ancora (1994), a Double Flute Concerto (1994), and the orchestral song cycle American Muse for baritone and orchestra (1999). The orchestra has also performed his Dreamwaltzes (1986), Concerto for Orchestra (1986-87), Son et lumière (1988), Impromptus (1991), and Pinturas de Tamayo (1995). The New Music Group has performed Boston Fancies (1985) in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris, and has also performed his Sappho Fragments (1982), Double Concerto for Oboe, Violin, and Chamber Orchestra (1985), and Ad Parnassum (1998). Recent works include a concerto, Etudes, for the Danish recorder virtuosa Michala Petri, commissioned by Linda Attiyeh; and an homage to Bach, Partita-Pastorale, after J.S.B.; Skylarks for a cappella chorus; and a Concerto for Percussion and Wind Orchestra. Future projects include a string orchestra work for the Colburn School of Performing Arts, commissioned by Betty Freeman; a work for the chamber chorus Chanticleer; a piano concerto; and Concerto for Orchestra No. 2, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the inaugural season of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Mr. Stucky is Given Foundation Professor of Composition at Cornell University, where he chaired the music department from 1992 to 1997, and he writes and lectures widely about topics in twentieth-century music. In addition to these activities, Mr. Stucky is an active conductor and has appeared frequently on Green Umbrella programs and he has led concerts at CalArts, UC Santa Barbara, and New York University.

    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, a well-received Ligeti Festival, 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.

    Soprano LAURA CLAYCOMB has been highly acclaimed for her performance of bel canto roles repertoire as well as for her appearances in Baroque and modern repertoire. She first caught international attention in 1994, stepping in at the last minute to perform Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Geneva Opera, a feat that garnered instant recognition and critical accolades. She later made triumphant debuts in this role at the Paris Bastille, with the Munich Radio Orchestra and Los Angeles Opera. Another of her signature roles is Gilda in Rigoletto, which she has performed at Opera de Lausanne, Opera Bastille, New Israeli Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, and Bilbao. She has since appeared at La Scala, Salzburg Festival, Paris Chatelet, and San Francisco Opera. Claycomb got her start with an Adler Fellowship at San Francisco Opera, where she sang a variety of roles. In the realm of modern music, she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in Peter Sellars’s new production of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre. With Esa-Pekka Salonen, she has sung Debussy's Le Martyre de St. Sebastien (Angel) with the Swedish Radio Orchestra and Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Future engagements include Gilda in Houston, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at San Francisco Opera, Poppea in L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, both at New Israeli Opera, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with the London Symphony Orchestra and Morgana in Alcina at ENO, and Atalanta in Serse at the Theatre des Champs Elysées.

    In a international career that spans four continents, recorder virtuosa MICHALA PETRI has become firmly established as one of the finest musicians performing today. Born in Copenhagen in 1958, Ms Petri began playing the recorder at the age of three. Her debut as a concerto soloist took place at the Tivoli Concert Hall in 1969. Since then, the Danish artist has toured extensively throughout Europe, North America, Israel, Australia and the Far East, and has appeared at many of the worlds most prestigious festivals and as soloist with many of the worlds major chamber and symphony orchestras. Petri is noted for her astonishing virtuosity in a repertoire ranging from the early baroque to contemporary works, many of them written especially for her. In 1992 Ms Petri formed a duo with her husband Danish guitarist and lute player Lars Hannibal, with whom she has toured in Europe, USA and Japan. Ms. Petri has been an exclusive recording artist for BMG/RCA Red Seal since 1987 and has an extensive catalogue. For her recording of Vivaldi flute concertos, she got the German award "Deutscher Schallplattenpreis" in 1997. In June 2000, Petri recieved the most prestigious Sonning Music Prize.


    Green Umbrella

    20th Anniversary Concert

    Tuesday, January 29, 8:00 p.m.

    ZIPPER HALL AT THE COLBURN SCHOOL, 200 S. Grand Ave. in Los Angeles



    LAURA CLAYCOMB, soprano

    William Kraft: Double Trio

    John Harbison: Concerto for Clarinet, Oboe and Strings

    Steven Stucky: Etudes (Concerto for Recorder and Chamber Orchestra)

    Esa-Pekka Salonen: Five Images After Sappho

    Tickets ($26) are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 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 For further information, please call 323/850-2000.

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  • Contact:

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