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  • András Schiff Completes His Two-Year Survey of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas for the La Phil’s Colburn Celebrity Series
  • Mar. 25, 2009
  • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2009, AT 8 PM

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2009, AT 8 PM

    These concerts are endowed by a generous grant from the Colburn Foundation; Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC

    World-renowned pianist András Schiff concludes his cycle of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at Walt Disney Concert Hall Wednesday, March 25 and Wednesday, April 1 at 8 p.m. Mr. Schiff embarked upon this considerable task last season as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Colburn Celebrity series, which features some of the world’s leading virtuosos.

    Beethoven composed his 32 sonatas over a 30-year timeframe. Regarding the pieces in these recitals, Schiff says, “In all six sonatas of the last period there are moments, and sometimes even whole movements, that subvert the music’s seriousness, and show us what you could call the composer’s humorously angry or playfully improvisatory side.”

    The March 25th concert opens with the two-movement Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90. No. 28 in A, Op. 101 follows, and the program concludes with No. 29 in B-flat, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier,” which is considered to be one of the most important works of Beethoven’s third period and one of the greatest of all piano sonatas.

    The April 1st concert features the last of Beethoven’s piano sonatas – No. 30 in E, Op. 109, followed by No. 31 in A-flat, Op. 110. The technically demanding No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 closes the program. Both the March 25th and April 1st concerts will be played without intermission.

    This season, the Colburn Celebrity recital series includes some of the leading pianists of our time. The final recital of the 2008/09 season features Krystian Zimerman (April 26, 2009).

    ANDRÁS SCHIFF was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953, and started piano lessons at the age of 5 with Elisabeth Vadász. He later studied with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and also with George Malcolm in London. Recitals and special cycles, such as the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann and Bartók form an important part of his activities. In 2004, he began a series of performances in Europe exploring the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas in chronological order – a project recorded live for ECM New Series and released in eight volumes through 2008. The Beethoven Sonata Project in its entirety concludes this season at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, San Francisco’s Symphony Hall, and Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium. Individual recitals are also slated for Chicago, North Carolina, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Princeton and Washington, DC. Schiff has annual engagements with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as conductor and soloist. He is a regular visitor as conductor and soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Budapest Festival Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Since childhood he has enjoyed playing chamber music and from 1989 until 1998 was Artistic Director of the internationally highly praised "Musiktage Mondsee" chamber music festival near Salzburg. In 1995, together with Heinz Holliger, he founded the "Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte" in Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. In 1998, Mr. Schiff started a similar series, entitled "Hommage to Palladio" at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. From 2004 to 2007 he was Artist in Residence of the Kunstfest Weimar. Schiff has established a prolific discography, including recordings for Teldec (1994-1997), London/Decca (1981-1994) and, since 1997, ECM New Series. Recordings for ECM include the complete solo piano music of Beethoven and Janácek, a solo disc of Schumann piano pieces and his second recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations. He has received several international recording awards, including two Grammy awards for “Best Classical Instrumental Soloist (Without Orchestra)” and “Best Vocal Recording” with tenor Peter Schreier. Schiff was honored by the Royal Academy of Music with the institution’s prestigious Bach Prize, sponsored by the Kohn foundation and in 2006, Schiff and the music publisher G Henle began an important Mozart and Bach edition project. Mr. Schiff resides in Florence and London.

    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.


    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Colburn Celebrity Series

    ANDRÁS SCHIFF, piano

    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2009, AT 8 PM

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 28 in A, Op. 101

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 29 in B-flat, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”

    This program is performed without intermission

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2009, AT 8 PM

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 30 in E, Op. 109

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 31 in A-flat, Op. 110

    BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

    This program is performed without intermission

    These concerts are endowed by a generous grant from the Colburn Foundation; Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC

    Tickets ($17 - $92) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, 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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    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034