Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, Rouse’s Der gerettete Alberich and Holst’s The Planets Comprise the Program
THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2008, AT 8 PM
Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable
Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl Bramwell Tovey teams with percussionist Colin Currie for Rouse’s theatrical percussion fantasy, Der gerettete Alberich, Thursday, August 14, at 8 p.m. This marks Currie’s Hollywood Bowl debut in a program that also offers Wagner’s dramatic Ride of the Valkyries and concludes with Holst’s The Planets, enhanced by imagery from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and edited by Laura Gibson. The Women of Pacific Chorale, join the program for The Planets.
Ride of the Valkyries, from Die Walküre, one of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen, is some of the most famous music Wagner composed. It opens the opera’s third act and depicts the action as the Valkyries, a fierce race of female warriors, gather at their mountaintop where one of their own, Brünnhilde, has brought her illegitimate sister to protect her from their father. Wagner uses a rapid succession of 16th notes in the winds and flourishes in the strings to lift the main motif, played by the horns and associated with Brünnhilde.
The program builds on Wagner’s Ring Cycle with Der gerettete Alberich (“Alberich Saved”), in which Rouse addresses the subject of the Wagner villain, whose fate is left unclear in the composer’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. Rouse noted, however, that his work is more of a fantasy and not a narrative piece, allowing the listener to use his or her imagination to provide the images accompanying the music.
The program departs, though not completely, from the Wagnerian theme with Holst’s The Planets (the piece does bear some Wagner influence, but is more strongly influenced by Stravinsky). While Holst never considered The Planets one of his best efforts, the seven-movement work was immediately successful when introduced in 1919. Each movement represents a planet, with the former planet Pluto left out as it had not been discovered until after the piece was published.
A musician of striking versatility, BRAMWELL TOVEY is acknowledged around the world for his artistic depth and warm, charismatic personality on the podium. Tovey’s career as a conductor is uniquely enhanced by his work as a composer and pianist, lending him a remarkable musical perspective. His tenures as Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony, Luxembourg Philharmonic and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras have been characterized by his expertise in the opera, choral, and British repertoire. Tovey recently garnered both a 2007 Grammy Award and Juno Award for his recording with violinist James Ehnes and the Vancouver Symphony. Tovey is the first artist to win a Juno in both conducting and composing. Recently named Principal Guest Conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, he works frequently with the Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, among many others. He has presided as host and conductor of the New York Philharmonic’s Summertime Classics series at Avery Fisher Hall since its founding in 2004. A champion of contemporary music, Tovey developed the highly regarded New Music Festival in Winnipeg, during his tenure as Music Director. As a composer, he was honored with the Best Canadian Classical Composition Juno Award in 2003 for his Requiem for a Charred Skull. His latest work Urban Runway, a co-commission for the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics’ respectively, premiered in July 2008. He has also been commissioned to compose a full-length opera for the Calgary Opera entitled The Inventor, which will premiere in January 2011. Tovey has been awarded honorary degrees, including a Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music in London, honorary Doctorates of Law from the universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, and Kwantlen University College, as well as a Royal Conservatory of Music Fellowship in Toronto. In 1999, he received the M. Joan Chalmers National Award for Artistic Direction, a Canadian prize awarded to artists for outstanding contributions in the performing arts.
Percussionist COLIN CURRIE has established a unique reputation for his charismatic and virtuosic performances of works by today’s leading composers, and has appeared with many of the world’s most important orchestras – the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra among them. Regularly commissioning and recording new works, he has made an inspirational and innovative contribution to percussion repertoire. During the 2007/08 season Currie performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Marin Alsop in the European premiere of the Higdon Concerto, following his successful debut with the orchestra last season. Other premieres in the 2007/08 season included the world premiere of a new concerto by Simon Holt with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. premiere of Steven Mackey’s Time Release at Carnegie Hall with the Baltimore Symphony and Alsop and the UK premiere of Michael Nyman’s marimba concerto gdm with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Currie also performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Gürzenich-Orchester, Malaysian Philharmonic, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Milwaukee Symphony, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony and with the Utah, Kansas City, Long Beach and Santa Barbara Symphonies, with conductors including Andreas Delfs, Kwame Ryan, Osmo Vänskä, Douglas Boyd, Edwin Outwater, Martyn Brabbins, Paul Mann, Thierry Fischer, Michael Stern and Enrique Diemecke.
Founded in 1968, PACIFIC CHORALE is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Orange County Performing Artscenter and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Under the inspired guidance of Artistic Director John Alexander, Pacific Chorale has infused an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence. Pacific Chorale is comprised of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego symphonies. Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong. Pacific Chorale, the seventh largest-budgeted chorus in the United States, has received numerous awards, including Chorus America’s prestigious “Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence” and the first national “Educational Outreach Award.” Most recently, Pacific Chorale received the 2005 ASCAP Chorus America Alice Parker Award for adventurous programming. Pacific Chorale appears in an average of 30 performances annually, which are heard by nearly 40,000 audience members. The Chorale’s outstanding performances can be heard on seven compact discs.
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, AUGUST 14, 2008, AT 8 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
BRAMWELL TOVEY, conductor
COLIN CURRIE, percussion
WOMEN OF PACIFIC CHORALE
LAURA GIBSON, video sequence producer
SCOTT DRAPER, editor
WAGNER Ride of the Valkyries
ROUSE Der Gerettete Alberich
HOLST The Planets
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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Lisa White, 213.972.3408, email@example.com; For photos: 213.972.3034