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  • ESA-PEKKA SALONEN RETURNS TO THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL TO LEAD THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC IN TWO SPECIAL PERFORMANCES
  • Sep. 4, 2007
  • TUESDAY and THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 and 6, 2007, at 8 PM

    Tuesday Program Features Salonen's Foreign Bodies with Original Choreography by Diavolo Dance Theater, Jacques Heim, Artistic Director, and Mahler's Symphony No. 1

    Thursday Evening Is Concert Performance of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov (1869 version), with Russian Cast of Soloists from the Mariinsky Theater

    September 4 Concert is Sponsored by WaMu;
    Media Sponsor for both concerts is Time Warner Cable

    Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to the Hollywood Bowl the first time since 2004 to lead the orchestra in two programs on Tuesday and Thursday, September 4 and 6, at 8 p.m. On Tuesday, the program includes his own orchestral work, Foreign Bodies with original choreography performed by Diavolo Dance Theater, Jacques Heim, artistic director, and Mahler's Symphony No. 1. The Thursday program is a concert performance of the 1869 version of Mussorgsky's operatic masterpiece, Boris Godunov, with an all-Russian cast of soloists from the Mariinsky Theater headed by Mikhail Kit in the title role. Also featured is the Pacific Chorale, John Alexander, artistic director.

    Salonen, the 10th conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is concluding his 15th season as music director. His current tenure is the second-longest in the Philharmonic's history. Diavolo company dancers, gymnasts, actors and athletes under the guidance of artistic director Heim collaboratively develop work on oversized surrealistic sets and structures. Everyday items…doors, chairs, stairways, provide the backdrop for dramatic movement -- leaping, flying, twirling -- to create metaphors for the challenge of relationships, the absurdities of life and the struggle to maintain humanity in the shadow of a technological world.

    For the September 4 performance, Heim's choreography, which captures the spirit and intent of Salonen's Foreign Bodies, features ten dancers and centers around a large cube. Salonen has described the piece as "very physical in expression, almost like an imaginary scène de ballet." He named its three movements "Body Language," "Language," and "Dance." With this piece to choreograph for, Heim describes the inspiration for his choreography: "The initial inspiration for Foreign Bodies came from three wooden children's blocks that I found while rehearsing in an elementary school in Aspen, CO. The blocks fit together to form a cube, and, as I experimented with their configurations, I assigned my dancers movement explorations examining their individual experiences of home, origin and family, as well as personal situations dealing with loss of identity."

    Using inspiration from artists such as Rodin, Calatraga and Nogichi, Heim states, "Their influence and my construction of raw human emotions via movement in juxtaposition with the set piece is why I consider myself an architect of movement. Perhaps Noguchi with his dual heritage and dual upbringing understood as I do the importance of a space to call home. I relate to that foreign identity and to Esa-Pekka Salonen, who, as a Finnish artist, works within the United States living away from his origin. The cube of Foreign Bodies is our space to experience the concept of home and identity and the search for both concepts that at times are foreign to all of us."

    During the work, the dancers begin with arms emerging from small apertures in the cube, slowly revealing heads, then full bodies as they appear from inside of the structure. As the music intensifies, the cube splits into three oblong pyramids and the dancers hurl themselves at the structure and each other. As the music becomes more introspective, the dancers split into duets and trios. By the end, bodies and structure meld, with the music inspiring the dance and the dance inspiring the music.

    The Boris Godunov concert performance on September 6, which is Salonen's first time conducting the work, features bass-baritone Mikhail Kit (Boris Godunov), basses Gennady Bezzubenkov (Pimen) and Alexei Tannovitsky (Varlaam), tenor Evgney Nikitin (Shelkalov), tenor Nikolay Gassiev (Shuisky), tenor Evgeny Akimov (Simpleton), mezzo-soprano Tatiana Borodina (Xenia), soprano Maria Matveeva (Fyodor), mezzo-sopranos Nadezda Vassilyeva (Mamka) and Olga Savova (Hostess), tenor Timur Bekbosunov (Missail), bass Vadim Kravets (Pristov/Nikitch), and baritone Andrei Spekhov (Mityukhin).

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, who was born in Helsinki in 1958, studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. In 1979, he made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1984. He was recently appointed Principal Conductor of London's Philharmonia. In addition, Salonen has won acclaim for his work as a composer. Among the many highlights of Salonen's career with the Los Angeles Philharmonic have been world premieres of works by composers John Adams, Franco Donatoni, Anders Hillborg, William Kraft, Magnus Lindberg, Witold Lutoslawski, Bernard Rands, Kaija Saariaho, 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, Berlioz, and Beethoven, and the Tristan Project. He and the Philharmonic have toured extensively since 1992. In October of 2003, Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. In March 2003, Salonen signed an exclusive four-year recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The following year, DG released a disc devoted to his recent orchestral works, featuring Foreign Bodies, Insomnia, and Wing on Wing. In January 2006, Salonen and the Philharmonic recorded their first CD together for DG, the first live recording from Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Salonen and the Philharmonic also have four live concert recordings available for download on iTunes from DG Concerts.) Before signing with DG, Salonen recorded regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen is the recipient of several 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. Musical America named him 2006 Musician of the Year.

    DIAVOLO DANCE THEATER was founded in 1992 in Los Angeles by Artistic Director Jacques Heim. In 1993, the company was nominated for two Lester Horton awards in Los Angeles, and in 1995 Diavolo made its European debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it was named "Best of the Fest" by the London Independent and Critic's Choice by The Guardian. Also in 1995, the company received three Lester Horton awards for the work Tete en L'Air. Since then, the company has been nominated several times for numerous awards, including four 2001 Lester Horton Awards and two 2003 Lester Horton Awards and the company performed live at the 10th annual American Choreography Awards in 2004. In 1998, the company opened the performance series at the new Getty Center Museum in Los Angeles. 1999 saw the creation of Diavolo's first full-evening length work, Catapult, which also coincided with Diavolo's first full North American tour. In spring 2002, Diavolo created a second smaller company to perform in a cabaret-style show, which ran for eight weeks at the New Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo, Japan. The commercial arm of the company, Diavolo Creative Productions, has also created unique performance events for such corporate clients as Wells Fargo Bank, Sebastian Inc. and General Motors. Due to the unusual and innovative way that Diavolo works with architectural structures, the creative team at Cirque du Soleil was inspired to hire Jacques Heim to choreograph their newest permanent show in Las Vegas, entitled "Ka", which opened in February of 2005. In addition to frequent U.S. tours, Diavolo has performed internationally in Scotland, Japan, Chile, Mexico and South Korea.

    Since 1968, PACIFIC CHORALE has been widely recognized for the exceptional quality of its artistic product, providing regional, national, and international audiences with distinctive performances of classical and contemporary choral works. Under the leadership of Artistic Director John Alexander, both the 160-voice Pacific Chorale and the 30-voice John Alexander Singers present a concert series each year at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Pacific Chorale also serves as the resident chorus for Pacific Symphony, performs regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and is the "choir of choice" for visiting orchestras such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale since 1972, JOHN ALEXANDER has consistently received acclaim from critics and audiences for his inspired conducting. He has conducted his singers with orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the former Soviet Union, and South American and, closer to home, with Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Musica Angelica, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Equally versatile both on the podium and behind the scenes, Alexander has prepared choruses for many of the world's leading orchestral conductors including Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre Boulez, Lukas Foss, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, and Max Rudolf.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 39th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2007, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the third year in a row at the 18th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 AT 8 PM

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    DIAVOLO DANCE THEATER, JACQUES HEIM, artistic director

    SALONEN Foreign Bodies

    MAHLER Symphony No. 1

    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 AT 8 PM

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    MIKHAIL KIT, bass-baritone, Boris Godunov

    GENNADY BEZZUBENKOV, bass, Pimen

    ALEXEI TANNOVITSKY, bass, Varlaam

    EVGENY NIKITIN, tenor, Shelkalov

    NIKOLAY GASSIEV, tenor, Shuisky

    EVGENY AKIMOV, tenor, Simpleton

    TATIANA BORODINA, mezzo-soprano, Xenia

    MARIA MATVEEVA, soprano, Fyodor

    NADEZHDA VASSILIEVA, mezzo-soprano, Mamka

    OLGA SAVOVA, mezzo-soprano, Hostess

    TIMUR BEKBOSUNOV, tenor, Missail

    VADIM KRAVETS, bass, Pristov/Nikitch

    ANDREI SPEKHOV, baritone, Mityukhin

    MUSSORGSKY Boris Godunov (1869 version)

    September 4 Concert is Sponsored by WaMu

    Media Sponsor for both concerts: Time Warner Cable

    Tickets ($1 - $93) are on sale now at HollywoodBowl.com, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday - Saturday, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Adam Crane, acrane@laphil.org, 213.972.3034; Rachelle Roe, rroe@laphil.org, 213.972.7310; Lisa White, lwhite@laphil.org; 213.972.3408; For photos: 213.972.3034