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  • WDCH
  • Apr. 10, 2003
  • Thursday and Saturday, April 10 and 12, 8 PM;

    "Casual Fridays" Performance on April 11 at 8 p.m. features
    the Levinson and Tchaikovsky Works

    The distinguished American conductor David Zinman makes a welcome return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic podium on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 10, 11, and 12 at 8 PM. A program of dramatic intensity is on his agenda, with the Los Angeles premiere of Gerald Levinson's Balinese-inspired Five Fires and Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. Pianist Richard Goode joins Zinman and the Philharmonic on Thursday and Saturday evenings to perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466.

    The April 11th performance is the final program in the season's Casual Fridays series, at which the orchestra performs in casual dress and audience members have the opportunity to mingle with the conductor and Philharmonic musicians at a post-concert reception in Otto's Bar and Grill. A shorter program with no intermission, the Friday evening event includes Levinson's Five Fires and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5.

    Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert event with John Mangum, takes place one hour before each performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall.

    Described as "an exuberant work with great spirit" by the Seattle Times following its 2001 premiere by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz, Gerald Levinson's Five Fires for orchestra (1995) was awarded the Arthur Honegger International Composition Prize in 1998. In 1997 the work was broadcast worldwide by the BBC as one of 15 semifinalists in London's Masterprize Competition for Orchestral Music. American composer Gerald Levinson studied with George Crumb, George Rochberg, and Richard Wernick at the University of Pennsylvania; with Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago; and with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory. He has also studied in Bali under the auspices of the Henry Luce Foundation and as a Guggenheim Fellow. His works are performed widely in the United States, France, and England. In 1995, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle premiered Levinson's Second Symphony, which was commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation for the orchestra.

    One of only two piano concertos Mozart wrote in a minor key, the Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 (1785) possesses a heightened sense of drama that evokes the dark world of his opera Don Giovanni, which he would write two years later. Mozart, at the time the most popular composer and performer in Vienna, premiered his D-minor concerto the day after its completion. It was an immediate success, in spite of the fact that Mozart did not have time to rehearse the piece completely. The work attracted the attention of later composer/pianists, including Beethoven and Brahms, both of whom wrote solo cadenzas for it since Mozart, in his haste, had simply improvised them for his performance.

    Tchaikovsky wrote the 5th Symphony at his country house at Grovolske in the summer of 1888 and it was first performed in St. Petersburg on November 17th that year. Several months earlier, a despairing Tchaikovsky had written to his brother about his compositional difficulties: "Have I written myself out? No ideas, no inclination?" Even after he had nearly completed the new symphony, he remained despondent, proclaiming to his patron, Madame Nadezhda von Meck, "There is something repellent about it ... This symphony will never please the public." But Tchaikovsky was wrong. That "repellent" work -- his Fifth Symphony -- is today one of his most-performed compositions, an musical expression of energy and anxiety.

    DAVID ZINMAN took up his post as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich, at the start of the 1995/96 season, having conducted the orchestra regularly as a guest since 1983. Since 1985 he has been Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He is also Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Born in 1936, Zinman graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Ohio, and pursued advanced work in composition at the University of Minnesota where he was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Conducting studies at Boston Symphony's Tanglewood Music Center brought him to the attention of Pierre Monteux, who guided his musical development and gave him his first important conducting opportunities with the London Symphony Orchestra and at the 1963 Holland Festival. Since his American conducting debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1967, Zinman has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras including the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and St. Louis Symphonies; the Royal Concertgebouw and Paris Orchestras; and the Los Angeles, New York, and Berlin Philharmonics. Zinman's extensive discography of more than 50 recordings has earned numerous international honors, including five Grammy awards, the Grand Prix du Disque (twice), two Edison Prizes, the Deutsche Schallplatten Prize, and a Gramophone Award.

    RICHARD GOODE is acknowledged as one of the leading interpreters of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart. A native New Yorker who studied with Nadia Reisenberg at the Mannes College of Music and Rudolf Serkin at The Curtis Institute, Goode has received the Avery Fisher Award and is a Grammy Award winner. In recent seasons, Goode has appeared with all the major American orchestras. In Europe, he has performed with the Orchestre de Paris, Zurich Tonhalle Orchester, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, and with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, among others. He regularly appears at the Edinburgh Festival and at the BBC Proms, has made several successful tours to Japan and has appeared in recital throughout Europe and the North America. Goode records exclusively for the Nonesuch label. In 1993, they released his 10-CD set of complete Beethoven Sonatas, the first ever by an American pianist. Richard Goode is co-Artistic Director with Mitsuko Uchida of the Marlboro Music School and Festival in Vermont.


    Thursday, April 10, 8 PM

    Friday, April 11, 8 PM (Casual Friday)

    Saturday, April 12, 8 PM

    DAVID ZINMAN, conductor

    RICHARD GOODE, piano (not on 4/11)

    LEVINSON: Five Fires (Los Angeles premiere)

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 (not on 4/11)

    TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5

    Upbeat Live, a free pre-concert event with John Mangum, takes place one hour before each performance in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Grand Hall.

    Tickets ($14 - $82) are on sale now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, and selected Wherehouse locations), 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 two hours prior to the performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office. 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; for photos: Scalla Sheen, 323.850.2015