Beethoven aficionados will have much to enjoy as the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs three works by Beethoven, including Leonore Overture No. 3, the Fourth Piano Concerto with beloved pianist André Watts, and Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, on February 14 and 16 at 8 p.m., February 15 at 1 p.m., and February 17 at 2:30 p.m. Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert discussion with Alan Chapman, takes place one hour before each performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Grand Hall.
The concert opens with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, named after the heroine Leonora from his only opera, Fidelio. André Watts then joins the Philharmonic to perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Beethoven began writing the Fourth Piano Concerto in 1805 and worked on it throughout 1806. But it was not until December 22, 1808, that he played it publicly, to great acclaim, in the legendary concert that included the premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, the Choral Fantasy and parts of the Mass in C. The program closes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, a piece that reflects the composer’s love of nature by joyously depicting countryside life, hence its nickname.
HANS VONK, the distinguished Dutch conductor is now in his sixth season as Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Vonk’s first conducting appointment was with the Netherlands Ballet from 1966 to 1969. Since then he has managed multiple appointments, including Chief Conductor of the Hague’s Residentie Orchestra from 1980 to 1991, Chief Conductor of both the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Dresden State Opera in 1985, and most recently as Chief Conductor of the Cologne Radio Symphony from 1991 to 1997. Born in Amsterdam, Vonk studied piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory and conducting with Franco Ferrara and Herman Scherechen. He also studied law at the University of Amsterdam. In addition to his current position with the SLSO, Vonk has appeared with numerous American ensembles such as the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras and the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic. Mr. Vonk is currently recording the nine symphonies of Beethoven with the Saint Louis Symphony on the orchestra’s own label, Arch Media.
ANDRÉ WATTS burst upon the music world at the age of 16, when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on television. Only two weeks later, Bernstein asked Watts to substitute at the last minute for the ailing Glenn Gould in piano performances with the New York Philharmonic. More than 30 years later, André Watts has been performing with the world’s great orchestras and conductors and has performed at sold-out recitals. At age 26, he was the youngest person to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University and has since received numerous honors from respected schools, including, the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University and The Juilliard School of Music. Watts is an active recording artist and has recently recorded both Liszt piano concertos and MacDowell’s Concerto No. 2 with the Dallas Symphony.
EDITORS - PLEASE NOTE:
Thursday, February 14, 8 PM
Friday, February 15, 1 PM
Saturday, February 16, 8 PM
Sunday, February 17, 2:30 PM
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Los Angeles Philharmonic
HANS VONK, conductor
ANDRÉ WATTS, piano
Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert discussion with Alan Chapman, takes place one hour prior to performances.
Single tickets ($12-$78) 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 www.laphil.com. 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. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts. For further information, please call 323/850-2000.
Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; Scalla Sheen, 323/850-2015