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  • Reinbert De Leeuw Leads Asko|Schönberg in the U.S. Premiere of Andriessen’s La Commedia in an La Phil Green Umbrella Series Concert
  • Apr. 13, 2010
  • Also Performing are Synergy Vocals, Four Soloists and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus

    TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010, AT 8 PM

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2009/10 Green Umbrella series continues at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Dutch conductor Reinbert de Leeuw leading Asko|Schönberg, Synergy Vocals, a cast of four soloists and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus in a program presenting the U.S. premiere of Louis Andriessen’s La Commedia, Tuesday, April 13, at 8 p.m. The soloists, cast by the composer, include: Claron McFadden as Béatrice, Cristina Zavalloni as Dante, Jeroen Willems as Lucifer, and Marcel Beekman as Casella.

    La Commedia, the fourth of Andriessen’s operas, began with two separately performed parts. Part Two (Racconto dall’Inferno) was written first and had its U.S. premiere as part of the LA Phil’s Minimalist Jukebox festival in 2006. The world premiere of Part One (The City of Dis) took place in 2007. Hal Hartley, an independent film director and Andriessen’s collaborator, staged the world premiere of La Commedia in Amsterdam in 2008. The casting of the piece also reveals Andriessen’s preference for “singing actors” as opposed to “acting singers.” Racconto dall’Inferno was tailored specifically for Cristina Zavalloni’s convention-defying vocal style.

    Of his Dante-inspired work, Andriessen stated: “I see Dante’s La Commedia as one of the highest points ever reached in literature and philosophy. It combines complexity, intellectualism, horror, beauty, multi-layering, allusions, historical and mythological references, and, above all, irony. I selected sequences of material in the same order as in Dante’s book. So the first two scenes take us from the City of Dis down through Inferno to the deepest regions of hell where we meet Lucifer in the third part. This is where Adam’s Fall is described. We then pass upward through the lighter-hearted Garden of Earthly Delights until we reach Paradise in the final selection, Eternal Light.”

    Since September 2008, the Asko Ensemble and Schönberg Ensemble have been united as Asko|Schönberg: a flexible group of musicians who can appear in formations of any needed size to perform 20th- and 21st-century music. The ensemble gives special thanks to © Boosey & Hawkes, London/Albersen Verhuur B.V., The Hague, The Netherlands.

    Reinbert de Leeuw has been the conductor and music director of the Schönberg Ensemble (now Asko|Schönberg) since its founding in 1974. De Leeuw also regularly conducts The Netherland’s foremost orchestras and ensembles and has toured and performed in festivals worldwide. He has been a champion of Andriessen and his music since they were students at The Hague Royal Conservatory.

    Synergy Vocals is a unique pool of voices covering a broad spectrum of musical genres and working primarily on microphone. Highly respected for its seamless vocal blend, rhythmic precision and dynamic performances, the team collaborates regularly with Asko|Schönberg, as well as Steve Reich & Musicians, Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, and Ictus, and is closely associated with Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Steven Mackey and the late Luciano Berio.

    Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC), under Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, has become recognized throughout the country for its exceptional artistic quality and technical ability. Founded in 1986, LACC currently performs with such leading musical ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony. LACC also assists the Los Angeles Opera by providing and training children for its opera productions that require a children’s chorus or child soloists.

    The LA Phil’s groundbreaking Green Umbrella new music series is a tribute to adventurous, open-minded and curious music lovers. The series, with a more-than-20-year history, offers one more concert during the 2009/10 season.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group was launched in 1981 under composer-in-residence and Philharmonic percussionist William Kraft, as one of several contemporary music projects envisioned and organized by the Philharmonic’s Managing Director at the time, Ernest Fleischmann. Praised for its imaginative programming and expert and enthusiastic performances, the New Music Group is recognized as one of the premier performing groups of its kind in the country.

    The remaining concert for the 2009/10 Green Umbrella series presents LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel in his Green Umbrella debut conducting the New Music Group in a program featuring LA Phil-commissioned world premieres from Derek Bermel and Esteban Benzecry (May 4, 2010).

    The concert is preceded by an Upbeat Live discussion which is free to ticket-holders, and occurs in BP Hall one hour prior to the performance. Veronika Krausas, composer and Professor at Thornton School of Music at USC, hosts.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant 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 locations 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 concerts, children's programming and community concerts, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    TUESDAY, APRIL 13, 2010, AT 8 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Green Umbrella



    REINBERT DE LEEUW, conductor

    CLARON McFADDEN, Béatrice





    ANNE TOMLINSON, artistic director

    ANDRIESSEN La Commedia (U.S. premiere)

    The concert is preceded by an Upbeat Live discussion which is free to ticket-holders and occurs in BP Hall one hour prior to the performance. Veronika Krausas, composer and Professor at Thornton School of Music at USC, hosts.

    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; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034