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  • WDCH
  • Mar. 31, 2007
  • Program Also Features Prokofiev's Suite from Romeo and Juliet

    and Jean-Yves Thibaudet Performing

    Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand



    March 31 Concert Sponsored by Acura

    Media Support for the April 1 Concert Provided by KCET

    Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the U.S. premiere of his 2005 work for orchestra, Helix, on Friday, March 30 at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 1, at 2 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program also includes a suite from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Thibaudet, described by critics as a masterful, charismatic, poetic, and breathtaking virtuoso, is regarded as one of the best pianists in the world, performing with today's foremost orchestras and conductors and on the most venerated stages.

    Helix, written at the request of Salonen's friend and fellow conductor Valery Gergiev for the World Orchestra for Peace, is an overture-like work with serious undertones. Composed for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the work was premiered by Gergiev at the Proms in London. Describing the brief work, Salonen says, "The musical expression changes quite drastically in the course of these nine minutes: the idyllic, almost pastoral opening phrase for piccolo and contrabassoon returns much later in the horns and trumpets, fortissimo, surrounded by a very busy tutti orchestra. The closing section shows the material in an almost manic light." Salonen and the Philharmonic also give performances of this program at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 28 and at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York on April 29.

    Veronika Krausas, composer and lecturer at University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, discusses the concert program at "Upbeat Live," a free event in BP Hall open to all ticket holders and held one hour before each performance (except March 30, when "Upbeat Live" begins at 9:45 a.m. on stage).

    As part of Acura's sponsorship of the March 31 performance, all Acura vehicles entering the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking garage that evening park at no charge.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is currently in his 14th season as Music Director. He made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. His current tenure is the second-longest in Philharmonic history, and he recently extended his contract through the 2007/08 season. Alongside his activities as a conductor, Salonen has also won acclaim for his work as a composer. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of works by composers John Adams, Franco Donatoni, William Kraft, Witold Lutoslawski, Magnus Lindberg, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, Tan Dun, and Augusta Read Thomas, as well as his own works. He has led critically acclaimed festivals of music by Ligeti, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Berlioz, and has served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. He and the Philharmonic have toured extensively since 1992, including extended residencies at the Salzburg Festival and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Salonen's latest orchestral work, Wing on Wing, received its world premiere in June 2004 as part of the Philharmonic's Building Music Festival. In March 2003 Salonen signed an exclusive four-year recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon; in February 2005, the label released Wing on Wing, a disc devoted to his recent works. Before signing with DG, Salonen recorded regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony Classical. A Sony disc of Salonen's compositions, including LA Variations, Five Images After Sappho, Giro, Gambit, and Mania, has garnered critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Salonen and the Philharmonic's discography also includes the debut recording of John Adams' Naive and Sentimental Music - a work that the orchestra premiered - for the Nonesuch label. Salonen was born in Helsinki in 1958, and after studies at the Sibelius Academy in Finland and with private teachers Franco Donatoni and Niccolò Castiglioni in Italy, he made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979. He is the recipient of many major awards including the Siena Prize from the Accademia Chigiana in 1993, the first conductor ever to receive the prize; the Royal Philharmonic Society's Opera Award in 1995; and their Conductor Award in 1997. In 1998 he was awarded the rank of Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government; in 2003 he received an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Finland.

    Pianist JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET's upcoming American performances include recitals in Washington, D.C., Chicago, West Palm Beach, Portland (OR), and Vancouver (BC), and concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Dallas, and Nashville, among others. Highlights of his concerts abroad include recitals in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Spain, performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (in Frankfurt), the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (in Birmingham and Cologne), the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, a five-city tour of the Netherlands with the Rossetti String Quartet, and a tour with the Orchestre National de Lyon to Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria. An exclusive recording artist for Decca with over 30 releases, Thibaudet was the soloist on the 2005 Oscar-nominated soundtrack of Pride and Prejudice. Other recent recordings include Satie: The Complete Solo Piano Music, Strauss' Burleske with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Night Songs with soprano Renée Fleming, as well as Reflections On Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans. Offstage, Thibaudet appeared in Bruce Beresford's 2001 film Bride of the Wind and played on its soundtrack, as well as that of the 1997 film Portrait of a Lady. On television, he was featured in the 2000 PBS/Smithsonian special, Piano Grand!, to celebrate the instrument's 300th anniversary. He also has energized the classical music world with concert attire by London designer Vivienne Westwood. Born in Lyon, France, of French and German heritage, Thibaudet began his piano studies at age five and made his first public appearance at age seven. At age 12, he entered the Paris Conservatory where he studied with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age 15 he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire, and three years later the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. In 2001, the Republic of France awarded Thibaudet the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2002, he was awarded the Premio Pegasus from the Spoleto Festival in Italy for his artistic achievements and his longstanding involvement with the festival.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music - Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association's involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007 AT 11 AM

    SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2007 AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2007 AT 2 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor


    SALONEN Helix (U.S. premiere)

    RAVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand

    PROKOFIEV Romeo and Juliet Suite

    Veronika Krausas, composer and lecturer at University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, discusses the concert program at "Upbeat Live," a free event open to all ticket holders held one hour before each performance in BP Hall (Friday, March 30 "Upbeat Live" begins at 9:45 a.m.).

    Tickets ($15 - $135) are on sale now online at, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310,; Photos: 213.972.3034