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  • WDCH
  • Nov. 19, 2005
  • Performance Opens 2005/2006 Toyota Symphonies For Youth Series; Season Draws from Multiple Artistic Disciplines to Present Exciting Classical Music Programs for Children

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2005, AT 11 AM and

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2005, AT 11 AM


    This concert is sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Marie Baier Foundation with additional support from Gordon & Adele Binder Foundation, Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, Edison International, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, MetLife Foundation, David and Linda Shaheen Foundation, and State Street Corporation.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s 2005/2006 Toyota Symphonies for Youth (TSFY) concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall opens on Saturday, November 19, at 11 a.m., with Beethoven’s in the House, an original theatrical concert production. Assistant conductor Alexander Mickelthwate leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, pianist Susan Svrcek, soloist Monica Schober – plus a cast of prominent local thespians – on an imaginary tour of Beethoven’s childhood home, discovering the famed composer’s passion, determination and ability to inspire. The program repeats on Saturday, November 26, at 11 a.m.

    “The Los Angeles Philharmonic has a long tradition of drawing from different artistic disciplines to engage young audiences in classical music,” says Jessica Balboni, Director of Educational Initiatives for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. “We’re building on that tradition with this season’s TSFY concerts.”

    During the 2005/2006 season, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association adapts its major themes for younger audiences through artistic disciplines such as theater and dance in presenting Toyota Symphonies for Youth. On Saturday, January 28, 2006, and Saturday, February 11, 2006, the Toyota Symphonies for Youth concert series celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with a theatrical presentation written by Leon Martell. (His live The Magic of Brother Bear show is currently running at Disney's California Adventure theme park.) Created especially for elementary students, Mozart’s Birthday Party explores the composer’s creative genius.

    TSFY continues on Saturday, March 18, 2006 and Saturday, March 25, 2006, with Minimalist Jukebox, an adaptation of renowned contemporary composer John Adams’ groundbreaking Minimalist Jukebox festival, being presented by the LA Phil with numerous events taking place throughout the city and at Walt Disney Concert Hall, beginning in January 2006. Enabling youngsters to experience classical music as performed by their peers, TSFY concludes with two Young Musicians Showcase concerts on Saturday, April 15, 2006 and Saturday, April 22, 2006.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s 2005/2006 Toyota Symphonies for Youth concert series takes place on eight Saturday mornings throughout the season. Before every concert, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall becomes a musical playground with hands-on art making, musical activities, dance, and storytelling or theater. Workshops take place in the lobby spaces one hour prior to the performance. Judi Garratt, Los Angeles Unified School District Elementary Theatre Teacher for the Arts Education Branch, coordinates all pre-concert activities. Among the activities taking place prior to Beethoven’s in the House are an interactive theater activity inspired by Beethoven’s passion for practicing the piano, discovering through the use of percussion instruments how music creates feelings such as joy and suspense, plus dancing and arts and crafts inspired by Beethoven compositions.

    ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE is the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recently appointed Assistant Conductor. Mickelthwate was born in Germany, where he played piano, organ, and cello in various ensembles. He earned his bachelor’s degree in conducting and piano performance while in Germany and won a scholarship to attend the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore, Maryland. Upon continuing his musical studies in the United States he studied with many master conductors like Frederik Prausnitz, Robert Spano, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Seiji Ozawa. Following his graduate studies he conducted many orchestras including the Eos Orchestra in New York, Newark Youth Orchestra, Scarsdale (New York) Youth Orchestra, Baltimore Opera, Florida Grand Opera, El Paso Opera, Baltimore Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and served as the Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony before joining the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the beginning of its 2004 season.

    DEBBIE DEVINE has been an award-winning theatre director and a respected leader in the field of arts education for over three decades. She has been the Chair of the Drama Dept. of The Colburn School of Performing arts for over 20 years. She has been working with the LA Phil since last year and is thrilled to be directing in the gorgeous space that is Walt Disney Concert Hall. Devine is the co-founder of L.A.’s 24th Street Theatre, which has created award-winning professional theatre and model arts education programs for thousands of students and teachers since 1997. Debbie's work as an actor has earned her three Drama-Logue Critics Awards, a Robby Award, an L.A. Weekly Award, LA Parent Magazine’s Best Westside Children’s Theatre Award, and the Women In Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Los Angeles Theatre. Debbie recently earned LA County Arts Commission’s Professional Designation in Arts Education, was the recipient of the USC Rossier School of Education's Innovation and Leadership Award, and won The Music Center of Los Angeles County’s 2001 Bravo Special Mention for her work in Arts Education.

    CAROLYN PALMER line-produced the LA Future Project for the Edge Of The World Theatre Festival in 2003 and numerous plays at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. She has also produced the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s Toyota Symphonies for Youth concert series, including Sound Czech: Remembering Home, Wing On Wing, Power Of Music, and Petrushka. She is also an Award-Nominated actress, most recently appearing regionally in All In The Timing at the Ensemble Theatre in Santa Barbara. She has also appeared at the Pasadena Playhouse, Rubicon Theatre, Laguna Playhouse, in KCRW’s ‘The Play’s The Thing’ and locally at the Pacific Resident Theatre, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and many others.

    Pianist SUSAN SVRCEK has established a versatile career that encompasses critically acclaimed solo, chamber, and orchestral appearances. She has had solo engagements from the Boston Museum of Fine Art to Tokyo’s Zero Hall, Art Hall in Seoul, and numerous venues in Southern California, including Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. She has been soloist with the Pasadena and Long Beach Symphonies, among others, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group. Currently, she is the chair of the Piano Department and coaches chamber music at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Svreck is a founding member of the recital series Piano Spheres.

    Soprano MONICA SCHOBER made her debut with the Virginia Opera as Siegrune in Die Walküre in the 2002/2003 season where she also covered the roles of Fricka and Sieglinde. She is an accomplished German Lieder recitalist. Her performance with brother/accompanist Michael Schober of Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder and selected songs of Strauss, Wolf, and Brahms at Steinway Hall in February 2003 was featured in an NHKTV special aired in April 2003 and again in 2005. Their unique collaboration yields unusual and accessible programs intended to seduce the audience into extraordinary classical music. Schober made her European debut in October 2003, singing the “Kyrie gewidmet an die Natur” by Robert Pobitschka in the Haydn Saal at Schloss Esterhazy. She is also in great demand as a performer of the lighter Viennese fare.

    DARIAN WEISS has appeared in numerous films, commercials and stage plays. Recent credits include NBC’s Days of Our Lives, and the Kodak Theatre production of Ten Commandments. Weiss also appeared in a staged adaptation of Mame at the Hollywood Bowl in 2004. His upcoming films include Miracle at Sage Creek and 11:11.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music — Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2005, at 11 AM

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2005, at 11 AM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Beethoven’s In The House

    Toyota Symphonies for Youth


    ALEXANDER MICKELTHWATE, conductor and host

    BRYAN DAVIDSON, writer

    DEBBIE DEVINE, director

    SUSAN SVRCEK, pianist, actress (Aunt Charlotte)

    MONICA SCHOBER, soloist

    DARIAN WEISS, actor (Young Alexander)

    PAUL PERRI, actor (Beethoven)

    CAROLYN PALMER, producer

    ED BARGUIARENA, dramaturg

    MICHAEL DONOVAN, C. S. A., casting consultant

    JENNIFER WHEELER, stage manager

    ELA JO ERWIN, costume designer

    T. STIRLIN BURK, lighting designer

    TOM BUDERWITZ, set design and construction

    This concert is sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Marie Baier Foundation with additional support from Gordon & Adele Binder Foundation, Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, Edison Internatiional, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, MetLife Foundation, David and Linda Shaheen Foundation, and State Street Corporation.

    Tickets ($15) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Cathy Williams, 213.972.3689