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  • WDCH
  • Dec. 1, 2007


    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's 2007/2008 Toyota Symphonies for Youth (TSFY) concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall continues on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 11 a.m., with The Spirit of Bach, an original production that celebrates the music of Bach and the different ways people respond to music, both physically and emotionally. Conductor Ward Stare leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and also plays the role of J.S. Bach's son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The Los Angeles Philharmonic joins the Los Angeles Children's Chorus and a cast of dancers for this performance, which also features Walt Disney Concert Hall's magnificent pipe organ. The program repeats on Saturday, December 8, at 11 a.m.

    Written by Bryan Davidson, this humorous story begins at the home of J.S. Bach, where his son and a couple of clueless servants are planning Bach's surprise 60th birthday party. As the slapstick and word-play ensue, the haphazard process of planning the party explores the differences between a toccata, fugue, minuet, badinerie, and air - educating and involving the audience along the way. The program includes excerpts from Toccata and Fugue in D minor; English Suite No. 5, Prelude; Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, Minuet; Orchestral Suite No. 2, Badinerie; Orchestral Suite No. 3, Gavotte I & II; Orchestral Suite No. 3, Air; Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29; Jesu bleibet meine freude (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring) from Cantata No. 147; Zion hort die Wachter singen, from Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers, Awake); Orchestral Suite No. 3, Overture (excerpt).

    The TSFY concerts are adapted for younger audiences through orchestral theater - an art form that specializes in featuring the orchestra in a theatrical setting. On Saturday, March 1 & 8, TSFY continues with The Composer Is Dead, an orchestral collaboration between author Lemony Snicket and composer Nathaniel Stookey; and on Saturday, April 12 & 19, the 2007/08 TSFY series concludes with Berlioz' Fantastic Symphony. Before every concert, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall becomes a musical playground with hands-on art making, musical activities, dance, and storytelling or theater. Workshops take place in the lobby spaces one hour prior to the performance. Judi Garratt, Los Angeles Unified School District Elementary Theatre Teacher for the Arts Education Branch, coordinates all pre-concert activities.

    WARD STARE follows in the path of many great orchestral conductors whose careers began as instrumentalists. Stare studied the trombone at the Juilliard School of Music and at the age of 18 was appointed principal trombone of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has performed as guest trombonist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, and has concertized as solo trombonist with orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. Stare made his public conducting debut in 2004 at the age of 22, leading the Ensemble Concertante di Chicago in a concert in which he also performed as trombone soloist in the Chicago premiere of a work by French composer Marc Lys. Stare has led the Chicago Youth Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in rehearsals and open career Q&A sessions for young musicians. He began his conducting studies in 2004 with János Fürst and Michel Merlet, with whom he studied compositional and musical analysis. This was followed by master classes in London in the summer of 2005 with Fürst, participation at the E5 Music Festival in Kuopio, Finland with Jorma Panula, and again with Panula in closed sessions with the Moscow Symphony. Last summer Ward Stare participated as an Academy Conducting Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, where he ultimately received the Robert Harth Conducting Prize, which offers him a return next summer to work at Aspen.

    BRYAN DAVIDSON is a Los Angeles-based playwright and teacher. His play War Music premiered in 2002 at Los Angeles Theatre Center, produced by Echo Theatre Company and Playwrights' Arena, and was subsequently produced at the Geffen Playhouse in 2004. The play was named as one of the top ten "Notable Shows of 2002" by the Los Angeles Times and received three Ovation awards, including World Premiere Play. Other recent productions include: Banned and Burned in America, a commission from the Greenway Court Theatre about censorship in the United States; and Reflecting Back, a commission for young audiences from Cornerstone Theater Company, to accompany the touring American Originals exhibit from the National Archives; and a commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create a theater piece to accompany Wing on Wing, composed by Esa-Pekka Salonen. As an arts educator, Bryan is Program Director for Playwrights in the Schools, an arts residency program that teaches playwriting to at-risk youth, and a recipient of two City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Artist in Residence grants. He is also Literary Manager for the Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena.

    Award-winning choreographer PEGGY HICKEY is one of the most versatile choreographers today, working extensively in television, film, theater, and opera. Peggy was awarded the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography for her work on Grammy-Award winner Beck's The New Pollution. She also choreographed the very successful "Nurses' Ball" episodes for eight consecutive years for ABC's General Hospital and Port Charles. Peggy was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence in a Feature Film for her work on the box-office hit, The Brady Bunch Movie, and most recently completed choreographing the hilarious, tongue-in-cheek "Jailhouse Tango" episode for NBC's Passions. Peggy also works extensively in opera, has choreographed for some of the country's most distinguished regional theaters, and is the recipient of numerous distinctive awards. In addition to her work as a choreographer, Peggy also serves as a visiting professor in Theatre Dance for UCLA, UC Irvine, Cal State Sacramento, and Glendale City College.

    Actor CHARLES LANYER has appeared in a number of popular television programs since the 1980s, including Dallas, Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele, T.J. Hooker, The Paper Chase, Cagney & Lacey, St. Elsewhere, MacGyver, The Twilight Zone, Moonlighting, Matlock, Mr. Belvedere, NYPD Blue, and The Practice.

    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.

    Toyota Symphonies for Youth is generously sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Additional support is provided by the Amgen Foundation, Marie Baier Foundation, Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Smith Barney Citigroup Foundation, Edison International, Employees Community Fund of Boeing California, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, B.C. McCabe Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Morgan Stanley, David and Linda Shaheen Foundation, and the State Street Corporation.

    Ward Stare, Conducting Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is a member of the American Conducting Fellows Program, a national conductor training program developed and managed by the American Symphony Orchestra League. The program supports the musical and leadership development of exceptionally talented conductors in the early stages of their professional careers. It aims to improve the qualifications of American conductors to assume leadership roles as music directors of American orchestras. Funding for the American Conducting Fellows Program is provided by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2007 at 11 AM
    SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2007 at 11 AM

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

    Toyota Symphonies for Youth

    The Spirit of Bach

    WARD STARE, conductor, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
    BRYAN DAVIDSON, writer
    PEGGY HICKEY, direction and choreography

    ANNE TOMLINSON, Artistic Director

    Pre-Concert Activites Creative Team

    JUDI GARRATT, activities coordinator
    CANDY DANZIG, theater/storytelling
    JOAN HARRISON, visual arts

    Tickets ($18) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Adam Crane,, 213.972.3422; Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034