• WDCH
  • Duo Pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque Join Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic
    for World Premiere of Andriessen's Double Piano Concerto, "the Hague Hacking"; Salonen Leads Los A...
  • Jan. 16, 2009
  • Program Opens with Janá?ek’s Sinfonietta

    FRIDAY, JANUARY 16, 2009, AT 8 PM
    SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2009, AT 2 PM

    Media Sponsor (Jan. 18): KCET

    Duo pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque and the Los Angeles Philharmonic also perform the world premiere of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s double piano concerto, “The Hague Hacking,” commissioned by the LA Phil and led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, on Friday, January 16, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, January 18, at 2 p.m. To conclude the concerts, Salonen leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, marking his final performances of this signature piece as Music Director. These concerts open with Janá?ek’s Sinfonietta.

    Known chiefly for his vocal music and operas, Janá?ek nevertheless penned several works that have joined the standard orchestral repertoire, including Sinfonietta, apparently inspired by an obsessive and unrequited affair. Originally titled Military Sinfonietta, the work was dedicated “to the Czechoslovakian Armed forces” and Janá?ek said it was intended to express “contemporary free man, his spiritual beauty and joy, his strength, courage and determination to fight for victory.” The military sound is present throughout the work, underscoring its patriotic, and rousing, purpose.

    There are few works for the traditional symphony orchestra in Andriessen’s catalog, and it has been 39 years since his last concerto-like piece. Works for “large ensemble,” however, abound. The immediate roots of The Hague Hacking lie in a short piece of the same name for two pianos from 2003. This is a “finger dance,” as pianist Cassie Yukawa calls it, but more rave than cotillion. (Yukawa and Rosey Chan gave the U.K. premiere of the 2003 work.) The “hacking” (hakkûh) of the title is Dutch slang for the dance style of a techno-descended hardcore house music, high speed and heavy on the bass. The Minimalist Jukebox festival presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in March 2006 included performances of De Staat and the U.S. premiere of Andriessen’s Racconto dall’Inferno. The success of these concerts encouraged Andriessen to accept a commission for a new work, which he has created from ideas he began exploring in the 2003 piece. Multiple keyboards – and two pianos, particularly – have long been important to Andriessen’s sound. The pianos here are matched with a conventional – albeit percussion-rich – orchestra, pumped up with important parts for cimbalom, electric guitar, and bass guitar.

    These concerts conclude with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, the signature work of Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Rite of Spring, regarded as one of the most important masterpieces of the 20th century, was the first recording of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Salonen for Deutsche Grammophon – and first CD recording ever at Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was released in October 2006 and nominated for a Grammy in December 2007. Salonen and the Philharmonic inaugurated Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003 with a rousing gala-opening concert performance of which Mark Swed, chief music critic of the LA Times, noted, “… I have never sat through a performance of it which so riveted companions. The clarity of solo instruments, from the solo bassoon in its sour-sweet high range at the start to the wondrous thunder of timpani that vibrated the seats, offered one revelatory thrill after another.”

    Upbeat Live pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, and occur one hour prior in BP Hall. Helane Anderson, Artistic Administrator for the Los Angeles Philharmonic., hosts Upbeat Live Jan. 16 and 18.

    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 for this season, his last with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. 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 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 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Salonen and the Philharmonic also have several 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.

    KATIA and MARIELLE LABÈQUE are nonconformist pianists who boast a repertory from the eclectic to the unexpected. Daughters of Ada Cecchi, a former student of Marguerite Long, Katia and Marielle Labèque spent a childhood filled with music. Their repertoire includes a broad range of material, from Bach on period instruments to the 21st century contemporary composers. They have been guests of the most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, the Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Philadelphia Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Dresden Staatskapelle and Vienna Philharmonie. They have played under the direction of conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Christoph Eschenbach and Michael Tilson Thomas. They are regular guests at festivals, including Berlin, Blossom, the Hollywood Bowl, Lucerne, Ludwisburg, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Mostly Mozart New York, The Proms, Ravinia, Rheingau, Ruhr, Schleswig Holstein, Tanglewood, and the Salzburg Easter and Pentecote Festivals. Beginning with their first release Gershwin´s Rhapsody in Blue on the Philips label, Katia and Marielle Labèque have enjoyed success with their numerous recordings for Philips, Sony and EMI. The aspiration to build a bridge crossing all aspects of contemporary creation has led Katia and Marielle to form their own label, KML Recordings. Transgressing conventions and boundaries, KML Recordings brings together the unexpected in meaningful and artistic ways, constantly associating sounds and images. Their vision goes beyond classical music to look at new territories where rock, electronic, contemporary, improvisation and video have their say. The first releases in 2007 comprise an all-Ravel program, including a new version of Bolero (from the composer himself), a Stravinsky and Debussy CD+DVD directed by young video artist Tal Rosner, and a Mozart and Schubert CD released in November. In September of 2008, KML Recordings released De Fuego y de Agua, a CD featuring Katia and Marielle Labeque in a special collaboration with the renowned Flamenco artist Mayte Martín.

    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.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    FRIDAY, JANUARY 16, 2009, at 8 PM

    SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2009, at 2 PM


    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles



    LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    KATIA and MARIELLE LABÈQUE, piano



    JANÁCEK Sinfonietta

    ANDRIESSEN The Hague Hacking

    STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring



    Media Sponsor (Jan. 18): KCET



    Upbeat Live
    pre-performance discussions are free to ticket-holders, and occur one hour prior in BP Hall. Helane Anderson, Artistic Administrator for the Los Angeles Philharmonic., hosts Upbeat Live Jan. 16 and 18.

    Tickets ($17 - $125) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • contact:

    Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689, lbellamore@laphil.org; Photos: 213.972.3034