Conductor Long Yu Leads the Philharmonic in a Program Featuring LA PHIL Assistant Principal Cellist Ben Hong and Also Including Works by Yanjun and Tan Dun and Special Encore with Fireworks
THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2008, AT 8 PM
The Concert is Sponsored by The Korea Times
Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable
With summer well underway, Hollywood Bowl audiences are treated to celebrity pianist Lang Lang performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Thursday, July 17, at 8 p.m. Los Angeles Philharmonic Assistant Principal Cellist Ben Hong also performs on the program with conductor Long Yu leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic and presenting Wu Zuqiang’s arrangement of Hua Yanjun’s Moon Reflected on the “Erquan” Fountain and selections from Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. The evening ends with a special Lang Lang encore accompanied by a spectacular fireworks show.
The evening opens with Hua Yanjun’s Moon Reflected on the “Erquan” Fountain. In the Taoist musician’s final days, two Chinese musicologists traveled to Wuxi (in the eastern China province of Jiangsu) and recorded six pieces, one of which was Moon Reflected on the “Erquan” Fountain, as played by the ailing musician. The music begins as a gentle, poignant reverie and rises to an impassioned climax before closing quietly. Chinese composer and musicologist Zugiang arranged it for string orchestra, preserving much of the original character through sliding glissandos and other ornamentation.
Second on the program are selections from Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger Concerto for Cello and Orchestra. Even before the multiple Oscar-winning movie was released, the composer created a six-movement concerto from the score. It was premiered by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in September of 2000, at London’s Barbican Centre. The concerto conjures up many of the sounds of Chinese and Silk Road instruments as well as traditional melodies and the spare, increasingly urgent “Farewell” of the sixth movement recalls the ending of the film, with its haunting leap into floating clouds.
The evening concludes with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, which the composer dedicated to German pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow. Bülow premiered the work in Boston in October of 1875, where it was a great success and started the string of American performances that increased Tchaikovsky’s popularity in the U.S.
Considered by The New York Times as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet,” 26-year-old Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras. He has worked with the world’s best orchestras under the most renowned conductors, including Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Boulez, Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Dutoit, Eschenbach, Gergiev, Jansons, Levine, Mehta, Maazel, Welser-Möst, Muti, Nagano, Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Salonen, Slatkin, Temirkanov and Tilson Thomas.
One of the most internationally renowned Chinese conductors, LONG YU is Music Director of the China Philharmonic and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras. In addition, he is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of the Beijing Music Festival. Yu has appeared with a prestigious list of orchestras and opera companies outside China, including the Bamberg Symphony, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Hamburg State Opera and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In North America, he has conducted the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony. He has also enjoyed successful collaborations with some of the world’s most renowned soloists, including Mikhail Pletnev, Frank Peter Zimmerman, Lang Lang and Jian Wang. Yu was born in 1964 into a family of musicians in Shanghai. Musical education in his early childhood came from his grandfather Ding Shande, a composer of great renown, and he later studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin. Yu’s career has included both artistic and administrative appointments. In 1992, he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Central Opera Theatre in Beijing, and in the same year, he was involved in the planning of the first Beijing New Year’s concert and served as its conductor for three consecutive years. He also produced operas for The Urban Council of Hong Kong for five successive years. In 1998, he led the creation of the Beijing Music Festival and was its Founding Artistic Director. This Festival has now become one of the most significant music events in China and in the world. The year 2000 witnessed another milestone in Yu’s professional career, when he became Founding Music Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra. Since its inception, this orchestra has performed a regular subscription season in Beijing, as well as undertaking special projects for the Beijing Music Festival. In spring 2005, Yu undertook a major tour of North America and Europe with the China Philharmonic, and in January 2006 they took part in a 24-hour concert of Mozart’s music from Beijing’s ‘Forbidden City’ which was broadcast worldwide to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. In July 2006 Yu and the China Philharmonic appeared with soloists Lang Lang and Frank Peter Zimmermann at the Bad Kissingen Festival. Yu has made a number of recordings, including a disc for NAXOS of Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Ding Shande’s Long March Symphony with the Slovak Radio Orchestra. In November 2000, under his baton the China Philharmonic Orchestra recorded two CDs on the Deutsche Grammophon label of western and Chinese symphonic music. In 2006, he recorded the Yellow River Concerto with Lang Lang and the China Philharmonic, also for Deutsche Grammophon. Yu received the 2002 Montblanc Arts Patronage Award from the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, and in 2003, was awarded 'Le grade de chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres' (The Honor of Chevalier of French Art and Culture) from the Government of France.
LANG LANG began playing piano at the age of 3, won the Shenyang competition and gave his first public recital at the age of 5. When he was 9 he entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory. He went on to win first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition and played the complete 24 Etudes of Chopin at the Beijing Concert Hall at 13. At 17, Lang Lang’s break into stardom came when he was called upon for a dramatic last-minute substitution at the “Gala of the Century” where he played the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Chicago Symphony. Now at 26, he has performed successful concerts around the world and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, on Good Morning America, and 60 Minutes. Lang Lang is featured in every major TV network, news and lifestyle magazines worldwide, including Vogue, GQ, Die Welt, Reader’s Digest and People. He has also performed for global leaders around the world including Prince Albert II of Monaco, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, President George H. W. Bush, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, President Hu Jin-Tao of China, President Horst Koehler of Germany, President Abdul Kalam of India, H.R.H. Prince Charles, as well as President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Performance highlights in 2008 include the New Year’s Eve opening of the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing with Seiji Ozawa, a concert with the Vienna Philharmonic around the closing of the Euro Cup in front of the Schönbrunn Palace, an open-air tour including concerts in New York’s Central Park, the Hollywood Bowl, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Dresden and Hamburg. In 2008, Lang Lang held a solo recital at the London Proms and the year began an exciting relationship as global brand ambassador for Sony Electronics with whom he looks forward to achieving innovative and creative ideas together for the future. Journey of a Thousand Miles, Lang Lang’s autobiography will be released in summer 2008. For the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2008 New Year’s Eve concert broadcast he introduced the performance of the “Chinese gallop,” Op. 20 by Johann Strauss. Most recently, Lang Lang performed at the 50th Anniversary Grammy Awards dueling pianos with Herbie Hancock and broadcast live to 45 million viewers worldwide. He will participate in a special concert with Cecilia Bartoli in winter 2008 honoring Maria Malibran, and has a 12-city U.S. recital tour that includes a concert at Carnegie Hall as part of their Great Artists Series. Lang Lang has also worked with Adidas to create a special limited edition shoe in his name and in addition the intensive concert schedule continues his honored relationship with Audi automobiles as their global brand ambassador. He is featured soloist on the Golden Globe winning score, The Painted Veil composed by Alexandre Desplat and can be heard on the soundtrack of The Banquet composed by Tan Dun. Lang Lang records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon/Universal. Every CD he has made has entered the top classical charts as well as many pop charts around the globe.
Los Angeles Philharmonic Assistant Principal Cellist BEN HONG joined the LA PHIL in 1993, at age 24, making him the youngest member of the orchestra at that time. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Hong won his native country's National Cello Competition three years in a row before leaving home, at 13, for the Juilliard School. Later he studied with Lynn Harrell at the University of Southern California School of Music before joining the LA PHIL. In addition to performing with the LA PHIL, he also performs frequently as soloist and as a member of chamber music ensembles. Hong has collaborated with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Lynn Harrell, Janine Jansen, Lang Lang, Cho-Liang Lin, Nicolai Lugansky, Bobby McFerrin, Christopher O’Riley, Shanghai String Quartet, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kyoko Takezawa, Sir Simon Rattle, and Lars Vogt. Hong’s desire to grow musically has resulted in a number of diverse performance opportunities. In 2006, he performed a Bach Cello Suite with the local hip-hop orchestra, DaKah, at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the annual Grand Avenue Festival. That performance inspired a passion for improvisation, which he continues to develop with violinist/singer Lili Haydn. His improvisation with Lili was spotlighted by Alex Ross in a 2007 article in The New Yorker magazine focusing on the LA PHIL. Most recently, Hong was hired by Dreamworks to train several members of the cast of the upcoming movie The Soloist, including Jamie Foxx and Tom Hollander. He also serves as an on-set technical advisor. The movie is based on Steve Lopez's columns in the Los Angeles Times about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a former Juilliard student who ended up on the streets of Los Angeles homeless and schizophrenic yet held tight to his music. Hong’s playing will be featured on the film's soundtrack.
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 40th 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 2008, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fourth year in a row at the 19th 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:
THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2008, AT 8 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
LONG YU, conductor
LANG LANG, piano
BEN HONG, cello
HUA YANJUN (arr. WU ZUQIANG) Moon Reflected on the “Erquan” Fountain
TAN DUN Selections from Crouching Tiger Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1
Special encore (with Fireworks)
The concert is sponsored by The Korea Times.
Media sponsors: Time Warner Cable
Tickets ($1 - $95) are on sale now at HollywoodBowl.com, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Sunday, noon–6 p.m.), by phone 323.850.2000 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.
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Adam Crane, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.972.3422; Lisa White, email@example.com, 213.972.3048; Photos: 213.972.3034