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  • Sep. 15, 2005
  • Pianists Orion Weiss and Shai Wosner Join in Saint-Saëns' Humorous Carnival of the Animals with Narration by Actress Cynthia Nixon


    Media Sponsor: K-Mozart 105.1

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic performs an all-French program under the direction of guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier at the Hollywood Bowl on Thursday, September 15, at 8 p.m. The festive performance includes works by Berlioz, Ravel and Saint-Saëns and a fireworks finale. Pianist Orion Weiss makes his Hollywood Bowl debut and Shai Wosner returns after last summer's debut concert at the Bowl; the celebration closes this year's classical Tuesday and Thursday subscription series at the legendary venue.

    The first half of the concert includes Berlioz' Le corsaire Overture and Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess. In addition, the first half concludes with guest pianists Weiss and Wosner in a beloved fourteen-movement orchestral piece, The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns, with narration by Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City, Igby Goes Down, and, early on, Amadeus, among many other film, television and Broadway credits). Saint-Saëns feared this humorous work-which mimics the sounds of animals-would hurt his reputation as a serious composer. He suppressed performances and allowed only the 13th movement, The Swan, to be published during his lifetime.

    To mark the final classical subscription concert of the Philharmonic's Bowl season, the program concludes with two works by Saint-Saëns: the Symphony No. 3 (the "Organ" symphony), followed by a fireworks celebration performed to the Bacchanal from Samson and Delilah.

    CYNTHIA NIXON made her film debut in the 1980 movie Little Darlings. Her Broadway works include: The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Indiscretions, Angels in America, The Heidi Chronicles and The Women. She also appeared in both Hurlyburly and The Real Thing at the same time. Her stage honors include winning a Theatre World Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award and a Tony Award nomination. Nixon, a founding member of Drama Dept., a New York based theater company, is best known for her role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes on HBO's Sex and the City. (bio credit:

    Hailed as one of the most exciting conductors to emerge from France in recent years, YAN PASCAL TORTELIER has just stepped down as Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, a position he has held since 1992. Born into an intensely musical family, son of the late cellist Paul Tortelier, he studied piano and violin from the age of four and at fourteen won first prize for violin at the Paris Conservatoire. Following general musical studies with Nadia Boulanger, Tortelier studied conducting with Franco Ferrara in Siena. As Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier appeared regularly throughout the UK with appearances at the BBC Proms and at leading festivals both in the UK and abroad. In 1995 he conducted the orchestra on a highly successful USA tour celebrating the BBC Philharmonic's 60th anniversary season. In recognition of his outstanding work as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, he has been given the title of the Conductor Laureate and will continue working with the orchestra in future seasons. Yan Pascal Tortelier has an exclusive contract with Chandos Records and has made many highly praised recordings with the BBC Philharmonic. He appears in regular engagements with leading orchestras throughout Europe, the US, Japan, and Australia, and in Britain he has worked with all the major orchestras. For several years he was Associate Conductor of the Orchestre du Capitole in Toulouse, and from 1989-92 he was Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Ulster Orchestra. In recognition of his success in Northern Ireland he has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ulster. In recognition of his outstanding work with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Yan Pascal Tortelier was appointed the Orchestra's first Principal Guest Conductor. Following his highly successful concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra last year,Yan Pascal Tortelier was appointed the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor starting in September 2005.

    Described by the Arizona Republic as "an effortlessly brilliant performer, with technique to burn and strongly personable energy," 22-year-old American pianist ORION WEISS has already established himself as an extraordinary young artist, exhibiting great maturity and depth bolstered by remarkable technical skills. Weiss has recently appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, and the Knoxville Symphony, performing concertos by Mozart, Shostakovich, Beethoven, Ravel, and Schumann. Weiss is a recipient of the 2002 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a winner of the Gina Bachauer Scholarship (2002, 2003) and the Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship competitions at The Juilliard School. In 1999, he was awarded the Gilmore Young Artist Award by the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. Weiss recently graduated from the Juilliard School and continues to study with Emanuel Ax.

    SHAI WOSNER has been described by The New York Times as "a superb pianist" and by The Financial Times as "an artist to follow keenly." Active as a soloist and chamber musician, he has recently performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Peter Oundjian, the Israel Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, and the Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim. Mr. Wosner made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with Barenboim and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. Abroad, he has appeared with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony, among others, and has given recitals in Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands. He is also a regular participant at the annual Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. He studied at The Juilliard School with pianist Emanuel Ax, and last appeared at the Bowl in 2004.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 37th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2005, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue at the 16th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2005 at 8 PM

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood



    CYNTHIA NIXON, narrator

    SHAI WOSNER, piano

    ORION WEISS, piano

    BERLIOZ Overture, Le corsaire

    RAVEL Pavane for a Dead Princess

    SAINT-SAËNS Carnival of the Animals (with Cynthia Nixon, Shai Wosner and Orion Weiss)

    SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78, "Organ"

    SAINT-SAËNS Bacchanal from Samson and Delilah (with fireworks)

    Media Sponsor: K-Mozart 105.1

    Tickets ($1 - $92) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; photos: 213.972.3034