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  • WDCH
  • Oct. 16, 2002
  • October 16, 17, and 18 at 8 PM

    Also on Program: American Pianist Peter Serkin as Featured Soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17

    Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonic continue a five-year survey of the complete symphonies and string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich that began during the 2001/2002 season. The Shostakovich Cycle resumes on October 16, 17, and 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at 8 p.m. with Salonen leading the orchestra in Symphony No. 6. The program also includes Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin, and pianist Peter Serkin as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17, K. 453.

    Special Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Grand Hall and are free to all ticket holders. Throughout the Shostakovich Cycle performances, members of the Philharmonic perform a string quartet by Shostakovich during Upbeat Live, coinciding with the symphonic survey. This week, the composer's Sixth String Quartet is performed prior to the concerts. KUSC's Alan Chapman hosts.

    Shostakovich's Sixth Symphony was a surprise to everyone. Although he had been the "golden boy" of Soviet music since the premiere of his First Symphony in 1924, he later had become the target of criticism. In 1937, however, he was back on top with the successful premiere of his Fifth Symphony which he called a "reply to just criticism." Two years after the Fifth and an announcement to create a "Lenin" symphony - a work that never materialized - Shostakovich brought out the Sixth Symphony (1939). This piece, with a long slow movement followed by two scherzos, was received coolly by the public and was a minor setback for the composer before premiering his Seventh Symphony - a work that turned Shostakovich into a wartime hero.

    The program's featured soloist Peter Serkin performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K. 453. Mozart's student, Barbara Ployer, commissioned the work and played the premiere in 1784, at the height of Mozart's popularity in Vienna.

    Opening the week's eclectic program is Maurice Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin - originally a "French Suite" of six piano pieces, each dedicated to a friend who had fallen in war. The first performance of the piano suite was given by Marguerite Long in 1919; shortly after the piano premiere, Ravel orchestrated four of the six movements: Prelude, Forlane, Menuet, and Rigaudon. He completed the Le tombeau de Couperin suite just after being discharged from service because of his increasingly poor health.

    American pianist PETER SERKIN is recognized as an artist of passion and integrity and is one of the most individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. Throughout his career, he has successfully conveyed the essence of four centuries of musical repertoire and his performances with symphony orchestras, recital appearances, chamber music collaborations, and recordings are respected worldwide. His rich musical heritage extends back several generations: his grandfather was violinist and composer Adolf Busch and his father was pianist Rudolf Serkin. In 1958, at age eleven, Serkin entered The Curtis Institute of Music where he was a student of Lee Luvisi, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and Rudolf Serkin. He later continued his studies with Ernst Oster, Marcel Moyse, and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Serkin made his debut in 1959 at the Marlboro Music Festival and has since performed many important world premiers. His unprecedented recital program of 1989/1990, featuring 11 commissions from 10 composers, remains a beacon of artistic character in programming.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, eight critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Orchestra for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia from 1985 to 1994 and as a principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.


    Wednesday, October 16, 8 PM

    Thursday, October 17, 8 PM

    Friday, October 18, 8 PM




    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    PETER SERKIN, piano

    Ravel:  Le tombeau de Couperin

    Mozart:  Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K. 453

    Shostakovich:  Symphony No. 6

    Upbeat Live, free pre-concert discussions, take place one hour prior to each concert in the Grand Hall. This week, Shostakovich's Sixth String Quartet is performed prior to the concerts. Alan Chapman hosts the events.

    Tickets ($14 - $82) are available, starting September 8 at noon, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Tickets are also available on-line at A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts. For further information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; Melanie Gravdal, 323/850-2021