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  • WDCH
  • Jean Guillou Plays Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ, for the First Time, in an Evening of Bach, Mozart and Mussorgsky
  • Nov. 15, 2009
  • Program Includes Guillou Composition And Arrangement

    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2009, AT 7:30 PM

    The Organ Recital series at Walt Disney Concert Hall opens a new season beginning November 15, 2009 with composer, pianist and organist Jean Guillou. The program includes Bach’s Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564, Mozart’s Fantasie in F minor, K. 608, Guillou’s own work, Scènes d’Enfant (Child Scenes) and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (transcription for organ by Guillou).

    The evening begins with music from Bach, a virtuoso organist who melded the influence of Italian concerto style with his native North German organ music. This fusion is the basis of most of his subsequent music including Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564. The program continues with Mozart’s Fantasie in F minor, K. 608. Written in 1791, this small, ten minute masterpiece speaks to Mozart as a remarkable organist as well as piano prodigy. Next, Guillou performs his own composition, Scènes d’Enfant (Child Scenes); inspired by Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw," it paints a portrait of a childhood, both angelic and human, with music that follows the innumerable sudden changes of the spirit. The last piece is a composition by Mussorgsky, transcribed by Guillou for organ. Mussorgsky met artist Viktor Hartmann in 1870 and developed an incomparable friendship in a short period of time. After Hartmann’s unexpected death in 1873, an exhibition of over 400 Hartmann works was displayed in the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg; Mussorgsky attended and, inspired by the experience, composed Pictures at an Exhibition. This piece, originally written for piano and made popular in an orchestration by Ravel, depicts an imaginary tour of an art collection and includes individual movements that allude to Hartmann’s works.

    As an organist and a composer, Jean Guillou has considerably expanded the technical limits of playing the organ and has written numerous works for organ, as well as chamber music, orchestral music, and seven concertos for organ and orchestra. His vast repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary periods. In addition, Guillou has issued numerous organ recordings, including the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach and César Franck, Liszt and Schumann. His recitals are renowned for their inventiveness and wit as he freely intermingles his interpretations of works by J.S. Bach and César Franck, and arrangements of non-keyboard works by composers along with his own original compositions. As a revered organist, he has acquired a reputation for daring registration and rhythms, and for mastery of improvisation. His performances are noted for their dramatic flair and showmanship, which has made him something of a flamboyant star on his instrument.

    The WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL ORGAN was inaugurated at the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in fall of 2004. Designed by Frank Gehry and Manuel Rosales of Rosales Organ Builders, the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ contains pipes ranging in size from a pencil to a telephone pole, and is voiced with a wide dynamic range from pianississimo to a breathtaking fortissimo. The specially curved wood façade pipes were made by Glatter-Götz Orgelbau of solid, vertical grain Douglas fir and consist of the Violone and Bassoon basses. Behind the facade are three levels of pipes, including metal pipes made of tin and lead alloys and wood pipes made of Norwegian pine.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the exciting new leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, 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.


    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2009, 7:30 PM


    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    JEAN GUILLOU, organ

    BACH Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564

    MOZART Fantasie in F minor, K. 608

    GUILLOU Scènes d’Enfant (Child Scenes)

    MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. Guillou)

    Tickets ($26 – $51) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. 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:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Leah Price, 213.972.3406; Photos: 213.972.3034