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  • PIANIST/CONDUCTOR CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS LEADS AND PERFORMS WITH THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC IN HIS HOLLYWOOD BOWL DEBUT
  • Aug. 5, 2008
  • The Pianist/Conductor Takes on a Dual Role in an All-Beethoven Program on August 5

    The August 7 Concert Features LA PHIL’s Peter Stumpf as the Cello Soloist in Boccherini’s Concerto in D Major

    TUESDAY AND THURSDAY, AUGUST 5 and 7, 2008, AT 8 PM

    August 5 is a Fidelity FutureStage Concert
    August 5 and 7 Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable

    Classical pianist/conductor Christian Zacharias comes to the Hollywood Bowl to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an all-Beethoven concert that includes the Coriolan Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1, in which he plays, and Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” Tuesday, August 5, at 8 p.m. Zacharias returns Thursday, August 7, at 8 p.m., to lead the LA Phil in a program featuring LA Phil Principal Cellist Peter Stumpf as the soloist in Boccherini’s Concerto in D major, G. 479. Also on the Thursday program are two works by Ravel – Valses nobles et sentimentales and Pavane pour une infante défunte – and Bizet’s Symphony in C major.

    Zacharias is considered to be one of the great German pianists of today and one of the most remarkable musical explorers of our time. He made his U.S. debut as a conductor in 2000 leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic. These concerts mark his Hollywood Bowl debut. Stumpf has served as Principal Cello of the LA Phil since the beginning of the 2002/03 season.

    The Tuesday program begins with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture. The overture was inspired by Heinrich von Collin’s play Coriolan, which was based on the Shakespeare tragedy Coriolanus. The music mirrors the plot of both plays from the stormy first subject showing Coriolanus’ rebellious nature to the point where both the music and Coriolanus fall apart and, ultimately, fade away. The composer’s First Piano Concerto reflects the strong influence of Mozart. The first of the three movements is in sonata form and the opening is faintly Mozart-esque before plunging into a world of pure Beethoven. Beethoven worked on his Sixth Symphony during the time he was completing his Fifth, and while it is as miraculously voiced and nearly as tightly constructed, the Sixth Symphony, “Pastoral,” is bright and relaxed, evoking a day in the countryside, where the Fifth is dark and driven.

    Opening the Thursday program is Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, which is modeled after Schubert’s composition of 34 dances titled Valses sentimentales, in 1823, and a set of 12 titled Valses nobles, in 1826. Ravel’s set, written originally for piano and composed in 1912, consists of seven waltzes and an epilogue, the latter containing drifting allusions to what has gone before – a caustic yet sentimental view of Viennese dances seen through Gallic eyes. Following is the composer’s immensely popular Pavane pour une infante défunte. Despite the curious title, Ravel maintained that it is “…not a funeral lament for a dead child, but an evocation of the pavane [a 16th-century Spanish court dance], which could have been danced by a little princess…” The program continues with Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in D major, G. 479. The composer was one of the first virtuoso cellists and wrote about a dozen cello concertos. His Concerto in D major is technically quite advanced with high-flying virtuoso passagework and has enjoyed popularity in an arrangement for guitarist Andrés Segovia. The Thursday program closes with Bizet’s Symphony in C major, the composer’s only completed symphony. Written in 1855, when Bizet was barely 17, the work remained unperformed until the manuscript was discovered in the library of the Paris Conservatory in 1933.

    Known for his consistent and uncompromising individuality, CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS achieved international attention as prizewinner in the Geneva Competition in 1969 and the Van Cliburn Competition in 1973. In 1975, he won the First Prize in the Ravel Competition in Paris and began an international career encompassing recitals in all the major international venues, award-winning recordings and concerts with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. Zacharias also appears in chamber music recitals with partners such as the Alban Berg Quartet, the Guarneri Quartet, the Leipziger String Quartet, Heinrich Schiff and Frank Peter Zimmermann. In 1992, Zacharias launched his conducting career, making his debut conducting the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva. This was soon followed by invitations to conduct countless of the leading orchestras in Europe. Following his U.S. debut as a conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2000, Zacharias received regular re-invitations to the renowned American orchestras. In September 2000, Christian Zacharias assumed the post of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He started his tenure as principal guest conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in the season 2002/03. Beginning in the 2009/10 season, Zacharias will be involved in the conduct of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as an "Artistic Partner." Following his first opera project – Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito at the Geneva Opera House in 2006 – Zacharias will present his second opera project together with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in December 2008 – Jacques Offenbach's La belle Hélène. Zacharias has been recording on the EMI label through 1997 and has since signed with Dabringhaus and Grimm. In January 2007, Christian Zacharias was awarded the Midem Classical Award "Artist of the year" in Cannes.

    PETER STUMPF began his professional career at the age of 16, playing in the Hartford Symphony. He received a Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory. A dedicated chamber music musician, Stumpf is a member of the Johannes String Quartet and has appeared on chamber music series at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Cologne, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at Casals Hall in Tokyo. He has performed with the chamber music societies of Boston and Philadelphia and at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico as well as the Festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Bridgehampton, Ottawa, Great Lakes, Ojai, Spoleto, and Aspen. He has toured with Music from Marlboro, the Casals Hall Ensemble in Japan, and with pianist Mitsuko Uchida in performances of the complete Mozart Piano Trios. He has collaborated with pianists Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, András Schiff, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Jorge Bolet, Radu Lupu, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and with the Emerson and Guarneri Quartets. Concerto appearances have been with many of the most respected orchestras and festivals in the U.S. As a recitalist he has performed at the Universities of Hartford, Syracuse, and Delaware, at Jordan Hall in Boston, at the Philips and Corcoran Galleries in Washington, D.C., and on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Series as well as Chamber Music in Historic Sites in Los Angeles. His awards include first prize in the Washington International Competition, the Graham-Stahl Competition, and the Aspen Concerto Competition, and second prize in the Evian International String Quartet Competition. As a member of the Boston Musica Viva he has explored extended techniques including microtonal compositions and given numerous premieres. As a teacher he has served on the cello faculty of the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, the New England Conservatory, and guest artist faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music as well as at the Yellow Barn Music Festival and the Musicorda Summer String Program. He is currently on the cello faculty of the University of Southern California.

    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:

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood



    TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2008, AT 8 PM

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS, conductor/piano



    BEETHOVEN Coriolan Overture

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1

    BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”



    THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2008, AT 8 PM

    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    CHRISTIAN ZACHARIAS, conductor

    PETER STUMPF, cello



    RAVEL Valses nobles et sentimentales

    RAVEL Pavane pour une infante défunte

    BOCCHERINI Cello Concerto in D major, G. 479

    BIZET Symphony in C major



    August 5 is a Fidelity FutureStage Concert.

    August 5 and 7 Media Sponsor: 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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  • contact:

    Lisa White, lwhite@laphil.org, 213.972.3408; For photos: 213.972.3034