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  • WDCH
  • Jan. 11, 2005
  • Program Also Includes Works by Berio and Matthews with Vocalists Janice Felty, Hila Plitmann,
    Elizabeth Keusch, Kelly O'Connor, Speaker William Stone, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale


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

    Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen presents the United States premiere of his new work for wind quintet, Memoria, on the Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series, on January 11 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, at 8 p.m. The program also includes Luciano Berio's Laborintus II, with soprano Hila Plitmann, soprano Elizabeth Keusch, mezzo-soprano Kelly O'Connor, speaker William Stone, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the U.S. Premiere of Colin Matthews' Continuum, with mezzo-soprano Janice Felty.

    An Upbeat live pre-concert event takes place one hour prior to the concert in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and is free to all ticket holders. Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music, moderates a panel.

    Esa-Pekka Salonen's Memoria is a 12-minute piece for woodwind quintet that he composed as a gift for the 20th anniversary of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. It was premiered in November 2003 at the Helsinki Conservatory on a program that also included Berio's Laborintus II, another work that deals with memory. Salonen was one of the founders of Avanti!, and for Memoria, he turned to material that had been percolating in his memory over the course of the ensemble's history (the score is dated "Helsinki 1982 - Los Angeles 2003").

    Matthews' Continuum, which took three years to compose, is scored for voice and large ensemble. Each movement is a 'scene'; a poem by Eugenio Montale (Italian) or Rilke (French), that has been set to music. Instrumental interludes occur in between the text settings. As the title Continuum suggests, the final setting echoes the opening, in a never-ending cycle.

    Berio's Laborintus II was commissioned to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante, and was premiered in Paris in 1965 with the composer conducting. The text - in Italian, Latin, and English - is from Sanguineti, an important Dante scholar and poet. A large-scale work, the piece is 40 minutes in duration, scored for three female voices, a speaker, a chorus of eight, an instrumental ensemble, and tape.

    The Green Umbrella series showcases new music ranging from solo works to chamber opera, performed by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. Concerts take place in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group are made possible in part by the Attiyeh New Music Fund, the Brady New Music Fund, the Freeman Fund for Contemporary Music, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from Deborah Borda, Ernest Fleischmann, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

    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, critically acclaimed international tours, and his extensive discography with the Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world's most sought-after conductors since his 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 principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

    Composer COLIN MATTHEWS was born in London in 1946. He studied music at the Universities of Nottingham and Sussex, where he also taught, and subsequently worked with Benjamin Britten and Imogen Holst. He collaborated with Deryck Cooke on the performing version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony. Since the early 1970s his music has been played worldwide, with recordings on Unicorn, Collins Classics, and Deutsche Grammophon. From 1992 to 1999 he was Associate Composer with the London Symphony Orchestra, writing, among other works, a Cello Concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1997 his choral/orchestral work Renewal was given the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for large-scale composition. His ballet score Hidden Variables opened the Royal Ballet's season in December 1999, and the large-scale ensemble piece Continuum was toured by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Simon Rattle. Matthews is currently Composer-in-Association with the Halle Orchestra and is completing a series of orchestrations of Debussy's Preludes. His orchestral work Reflected Images was recently premiered by the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas.

    Composer LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003)had one of the most distinctive voices in post-war modernist music. Largely trained at home in his youth - his father and grandfather were organists and composers - Berio entered the Milan Conservatory in 1945. A hand injury sustained while training as a conscript in Mussolini's army prevented him from pursuing a career as a performer and he began to concentrate on composition, studying with Giorgio Federico Ghedini at the Conservatory and, after graduation in 1951, with Luigi Dallapiccola at Tanglewood. On his return to Milan, Berio began to work for Italian radio and television (RAI), and he composed his first piece for tape in 1953. Two years later he and Bruno Maderna opened the Studio di Fonologia for the creation of electronic music. Work with Maderna and others at the studio developed Berio's taste for collaboration, which he quickly extended to artists in other disciplines, including writers such as Umberto Eco, Edoardo Sanguineti, and Italo Calvino.


    Monday, January 11, 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles



    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    JANICE FELTY, mezzo-soprano

    HILA PLITMANN, soprano


    KELLY O'CONNOR, mezzo-soprano

    WILLIAM STONE, speaker


    SALONEN Memoria (U.S. premiere)

    MATTHEWS Continuum (U.S. premiere)

    BERIO Labrintus II

    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. Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music, moderates a panel.

    Tickets ($15 - $41) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations. Performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. 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 all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; Sylvi Brown, 909.336.7582; photos: 213.972.3034