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  • LAPA
  • May. 16, 2003

    Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, 8 PM;
    Sunday, May 18, 2:30 PM

    Renowned composer/conductor Pierre Boulez leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the emotionally charged final works by two Viennese masters, Alban Berg and Anton Bruckner, at the orchestra's penultimate programs in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion -- Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 18, 2:30 p.m. The award-winning violinist Jennifer Frautschi, an alumna of the Colburn School who first performed with the Philharmonic at the Pavilion in 1990 at age 16 on a High School Night program, makes her subscription concerts debut as soloist in the Berg Violin Concerto. Not coincidentally, Boulez conducted the Berg Concerto at his initial Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts in January 1969. Bruckner's unfinished Symphony No. 9, a musical summation of the composer's life, is the concert finale.

    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.

    Berg's Violin Concerto is one of the few works to have become a repertory staple with serial or 12-tone techniques. The piece's virtuosic demands have made it a testing-ground for soloists, and its irresistibly moving nature has made the concerto a concert-hall draw. In the midst of working on his opera Lulu, Berg received a commission from violinist Louis Krasner for a concerto. It was tragedy -- the death of Manon Gropius, the teenaged daughter of Alma Mahler and architect Walter Gropius -- that inspired Berg to write the work, which he dedicated "to the memory of an angel." While the music is not tonal, it refers constantly to tonality and incorporates references ranging from folksong to a Bach chorale. Berg scholars, aware of the composer's cryptic and numerological obsessions, have also discovered secret references to his mistress and to an illegitimate daughter within the score. The Violin Concerto proved to be Berg's own requiem. The 50-year-old composer died on Christmas Eve 1935, the victim of blood poisoning from an abscessed bee sting.

    Bruckner spent the last nine years of his life working on the Ninth Symphony. By 1894 he had completed the slow movement, but at his death in 1896 the finale remained too fragmentary to be convincingly completed. Brucknerites tend to rejoice that the Ninth was never finished, contending that the great Adagio is a farewell to life and that anything following it would be anticlimactic. Nonetheless, Bruckner wrestled with a finale for two years and was haunted by the fear that he would not have time to complete the symphony. His physician once discovered him on his knees praying, "Dear God, let me get well soon…. I need my health to finish the Ninth." The symphony is, indeed, dedicated to "Dem lieben Gott" (To God the beloved), and the evidence of Bruckner's strong beliefs resounds in this soaring score.

    Composer and conductor PIERRE BOULEZ has appeared frequently with the Los Angeles Philharmonic through the years, although these are his first concerts with the orchestra since 1996. One of the most influential musical figures of the past century, Boulez was born in Montbrison, France, in 1925. After initial training in mathematics, he studied piano, composition, and choral conducting at the Paris Conservatory, where his teachers included Olivier Messiaen and Rene Leibowitz. Boulez began composing in the mid-1940s. In 1953, he founded the Concerts du Petit Marigny, one of the first concert series dedicated solely to the performance of modern music, which later became the Domaine Musical series. His conducting career was launched in 1958; in the 1970s Boulez served as music director of both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He subsequently reduced his conducting schedule to concentrate on the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), which he founded and directed until 1991. He is also co-founder of Cité de la Musique, a new music center in Paris. Boulez has held the post of principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1995. His discography includes prizewinning recordings of Parsifal and Berg's Lulu (world premiere recording of the 3-act version), along with a broad range of twentieth-century orchestral masterworks, including his own compositions. His recordings have garnered 24 Grammy awards.

    American violinist JENNIFER FRAUTSCHI has been heard in concerts throughout the United States, Europe and Mexico. Frautschi made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic when, as winner of the 1989 Bronislaw Kaper Awards Competition, she was the featured soloist in Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 1 under the direction of David Alan Miller at the orchestra's 1990 High School Night program. The recipient of a prestigious 1999 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Frautschi has also won First Prize awards in the Washington International Competition, Irving Klein International String Competition, Kingsville (TX), International Music Competition, GM/Seventeen Magazine's National Concerto Competition, ARTS (Arts Recognition and Talent Search), and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. She was a top prize recipient in the 1998 Naumburg Violin Competition and the only American laureate in the 1997 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Belgium. Born in 1973, Frautschi began studying the violin at the age of three with Elizabeth Mills and continued her studies with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles and the University of Southern California School of Music. She also attended Harvard University and The Juilliard School, where she studied with Robert Mann and served as a teaching assistant to the Juilliard String Quartet. Frautschi performs on a 1722 Antonio Stradivarius violin known as the "ex-Cadiz," which was previously owned and performed on for over 40 years by the renowned American violinist Joseph Fuchs.


    Friday, May 16, 8 PM

    Saturday, May 17, 8 PM

    Sunday, May 18, 2:30 PM


    PIERRE BOULEZ, conductor


    BERG: Violin Concerto

    BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 9

    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.

    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 online 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; Rachelle Roe, 323.850.2032; for photos: Scalla Sheen, 323.850.2015