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  • WDCH
  • Mar. 8, 2004
  • Pianist Xak Bjerken and Mezzo-Soprano Janice Felty Featured

    Green Umbrella Program Includes Works By Steven Mackey, Christopher Rouse, and Judith Weir and the World Premiere of the Revised Version of Stucky's
    To Whom I Said Farewell


    Composer Steven Stucky conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in a program featuring pianist Xak Bjerken and mezzo-soprano Janice Felty at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Monday, March 8, at 8 p.m. The program includes Steven Mackey's Ars Moriendi, Judith Weir's Piano Concerto, and Christopher Rouse's Compline. In addition, Stucky will lead the ensemble in the world premiere of a new revision of his own work, To Whom I Said Farewell.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. The Upbeat Live for this program includes a panel discussion with composers Steven Mackey, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, and Judith Weir.

    This program is one of the Philharmonic's "Composer's Choice" concerts, a program of works selected by a contemporary composer. The works included in the March 8 program were selected by Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music. The pieces by Mackey and Stucky deal with loss, and the Mackey and Weir pieces evoke folk music of the British Isles.

    The March 8 program is the third of five concerts in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella new music series. The series continues on April 26 with the USC Thornton Contemporary Music Ensemble conducted by Donald Crockett and concludes on June 1 with Bradley Lubman conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in a concert featuring works of music composed for landmark architectural spaces.

    Widely recognized as one of the leading American composers of his generation, STEVEN STUCKY has written commissioned works for the Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Baltimore symphonies, for the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, and for Chanticleer, Boston Musica Viva, Camerata Bern, and the Koussevitzky Foundation. During his long association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Composer-in-Residence (1988-92), New Music Advisor (1992-2000), and now Consulting Composer for New Music, he has written several works for the orchestra. They include Angelus (1990, a co-commission with Carnegie Hall for the hall's 100th anniversary), and the orchestral song cycle American Muse, premiered in October 2000 by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and baritone Sanford Sylvan. Other recent works include a concerto entitled Etudes for the Danish recorder virtuosa Michala Petri, commissioned by Linda Attiyeh; and an homage to Bach, Partita-Pastorale, after J.S.B., commissioned by the BBC for the Summer 2000 Promenade Concerts. Stucky has taught at Cornell University since 1980, where he serves as Given Foundation Professor of Composition, and where he chaired the Music Department from 1992 to 1997. At present he is also Visiting Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music.

    Pianist XAK BJERKEN gives solo and chamber orchestra recitals in Europe and the United States. In addition to traveling the world for recitals, the pianist has held chamber music residencies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. He was recently named a pianist for the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. Bjerken has made numerous recordings, the most acclaimed being High Rise, comprised of music by seven living composers. While at the Peabody Conservatory, Bjerken was a student and teaching assistant of Leon Fleisher. He earned his bachelor's degree cum laude at UCLA, studying with Aube Tzerko.

    Mezzo-soprano JANICE FELTY has made her reputation in chamber music, opera, and on the concert stage. She has premiered and recorded numerous roles, including Aglonice in Philip Glass' Orphée and Belle in his La belle et la bète (all recorded on Nonesuch). In chamber music repertoire, Felty premiered John Harbison's Mottetti di Montale with Edward Auer at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, as well as his Natural World with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, recorded on New World Records. She also premiered and recorded Harbison's chamber version of his Mirabai Songs. Felty received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Arizona and trained at the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco under Kurt Adler. Since then, she has received numerous accolades, including a first-place award at the San Francisco Opera Auditions, the Florence Thebom award at the Metropolitan National Opera Auditions, and both a Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant for Musicians and a Kurt Herbert Adler Award.



    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles



    STEVEN STUCKY, conductor

    XAK BJERKEN, piano

    JANICE FELTY, mezzo-soprano

    MACKEY Ars Moriendi

    STUCKY To Whom I Said Farewell (revised version world premiere)

    WEIR Piano Concerto

    ROUSE Compline

    This program is supported by a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place one hour prior to each concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and are free to all ticket holders. The program includes a panel discussion with composers Steven Mackey, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, and Judith Weir.

    Tickets ($15 - $40) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For more information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Ryan Jimenez, 213.972.3405; for photos: Beth Norber, 213.972.3409