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  • WDCH
  • Feb. 23, 2006
  • Soprano Barbara Bonney, Mezzo-Soprano Ruxandra Donose, Tenor Eric Cutler, Bass Alfred Reiter, and USC Thornton Choral Artists Featured in Requiem


    FEBRUARY 23, 24, and 25, 2006, AT 8 PM

    All three concerts are sponsored by the Michael J. Connell Foundation;

    The February 25 concert is also sponsored by Princess Cruises

    Guest Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi leads pianist Andreas Haefliger and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595, and the composer's famed Requiem on Thursday, February 23, Friday, February 24,and Saturday, February 25 at 8 PM, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Dohnányi, recognized as one of the world's pre-eminent orchestral and opera conductors, makes his second appearance with the Philharmonic this season, following an evening the week prior of works by Birtwistle, Beethoven and Stravinsky. Swiss pianist Haefliger has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "a pianist to watch… more importantly, he is a pianist to listen to." Performing the Requiem are soprano Barbara Bonney, widely recognized as one of the great Mozart singers of her generation; Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose, a young and exciting presence in today's music world; American tenor Eric Cutler, hailed for his "distinctive, red-blooded voice" by Opera News; versatile German bass Alfred Reiter, and the USC Thornton Choral Artists (William Dehning and Magen Solomon, chorus masters). Making their Walt Disney Concert Hall debuts are Haefliger, Bonney, Donose (as well as her debut with the Philharmonic) and Reiter (as well as his debut with the Philharmonic).

    This concert series is the last of three presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in celebration of the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Piano Concerto No. 27 was written in the year of Mozart's death and serves as the final work in a form he alone had developed to such artistic and virtuosic heights. The solemn yet luminous Requiem was also composed that same year, 1791.

    MaryAnn Bonino, founding artistic director, Da Camera Society of MSMC (Mount St. Mary's College), discusses the program at "Upbeat Live," a free event open to all ticket holders held one hour before each performance in BP Hall.

    CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI, conductor, has held opera directorships in Frankfurt and Hamburg as well as principal orchestral conducting posts in Germany, London and Paris, and has made guest appearances with the major opera houses and orchestras of Europe and North America. Dohnányi completed his tenure as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra in 2002, a post he assumed in 1984. During those years, he led the orchestra in 1000 concerts, 15 international tours, 24 premieres, and recorded over 100 works. Dohnányi was named Music Director Laureate in Cleveland in 2002/03. He continues his Music Directorship with the NDR Symphony in Hamburg, leading concerts there and on tour in Europe, South America and Japan; and his post as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonia, which he leads in its home city and in Paris. Dohnányi has frequently conducted at the world's great opera houses, including Covent Garden, La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Berlin, Paris, San Francisco, and Chicago. He has been a frequent guest conductor with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, leading the world premieres of Henze's Die Bassariden and Cerha's Baal. Dohnányi also appears with the Zurich Opera. He has made many critically acclaimed recordings for London/Decca with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. With Vienna, he has recorded a variety of symphonic works and a number of operas, including Beethoven's Fidelio, Berg's Wozzeck and Lulu, Schoenberg's Erwartung, Strauss' Salome, and Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. With the Cleveland Orchestra, his large and varied discography includes Wagner's Die Walküre and Das Rheingold; the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann; symphonies by Bruckner, Dvorák, Mahler, Mozart, Schubert, and Tchaikovsky; and among many others, works by Bartók, Berlioz, Ives, Varèse, and Webern.

    Pianist ANDREAS HAEFLIGER has received the highest praise for performances that possess a rare combination of power, elegance, and poetry. Following summer festivals at Aspen, Bregenz, and Moritzburg, Haefliger appears in the 2005/06 season with the Boston Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the London Symphony in London and on tour in Germany, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne. He continues with the second year of the seven-year "Perspectives of Beethoven," traversing the complete solo piano works of Beethoven with related pieces. Born in Switzerland, Haefliger grew up in a musical household. After completing his studies at the Juilliard School, where he was twice awarded the Gina Bachauer Memorial Scholarship, he made his London recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1993 and his London Proms debut with the Philharmonia in 1994. A growing discography includes works by Schumann, Schubert, Mozart, and Sofia Gubaidulina for Sony; Schubert lieder with Matthias Goerne; the "Trout" Quintet and Dvorák Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet for London/Decca; and two discs of solo pieces of Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Thomas Adès on the Avie label.

    A superlative recital and concert artist, BARBARA BONNEY, soprano, has been praised for her radiant tone and the engaging warmth of her personality as well as for her stylistic versatility in a broad repertoire that ranges from the Baroque to 20th-century music. Her interpretations of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with the Vienna Staatsoper under Carlos Kleiber and with the Royal Opera led by Sir Georg Solti have both been released on video, as have her performances in Falstaff and Ariadne auf Naxos with the Metropolitan Opera. Bonney's discography includes sacred music of Bach, Haydn, and Mozart and Schubert. Complete opera recordings include Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus, and Fidelio led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Hansel und Gretel conducted by Jeffrey Tate, and The Merry Widow with John Eliot Gardiner. Born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1956, Bonney began piano studies at age five and took up the cello three years later. After two years as a music and German major at the University of New Hampshire, she decided to spend her junior year abroad at the University of Salzburg to perfect her German studies. She subsequently secured a repertory position with the Darmstadt City Opera in Germany; following her debut as Anna in Nicolai's Merry Wives of Windsor in 1979, she appeared in almost every production with that company during the next four years, singing 40 roles.

    Mezzo-soprano RUXANDRA DONOSE has captured critical and popular acclaim in leading opera houses and concert halls. She is well-known to opera audiences throughout North America and Europe, where she made her debut at Covent Garden as Sesto in a new production of Giulio Cesare and was immediately re-engaged for performances as Annio in a new production of La clemenza di Tito. A winner of the 1990 ARD International Vocal Competition in Munich, Donose made a highly praised Vienna Staatsoper debut in the 1992 as Varvara in Katya Kabanova. She made her debut in the United States in performances of Nicklausse with San Francisco Opera in a new production of Les contes d'Hoffmann. Donose is continually in demand for concerts with leading orchestras around the world. Her recordings include Schubert's Ständchen for mezzo-soprano and male chorus (Philips), Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (Naxos), Bach's Mass in B minor, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Naxos), and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (Arte Nova).

    American tenor ERIC CUTLER's debut recital on EMI Classics was named Editor's Choice in the May edition of Opera News. This program of Schumann, Hahn, Liszt and Barber was praised by the Opera News critic for "the young Iowan's palpable artistry [and] uniquely thoughtful musicianship, all the more interesting when clothed in a distinctive, red-blooded voice." In the 2005/6 season, Eric Cutler returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Tamino in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Paul Daniel and Andres in Wozzeck under James Levine. He makes his debut at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in his first performances of Ernesto in Don Pasquale. Another important role debut is as Gounod's Romeo in his return to Opera Australia. He debuts at the Teatro Real, Madrid as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and with the Vlaamse Opera as Leicester in Maria Stuarda. He will also make his recital debuts at London's Wigmore Hall and at New York's Weill Recital Hall.

    ALFRED REITER, bass, born in Augsburg, Germany, began his music studies with sacred music before he went on to study voice at the Munich Music Academy. In 1993 he was first prize winner of the Richard Strauss-Society in Munich. After his debut in 1999, Alfred Reiter sang Titurel (Parsifal) with Giuseppe Sinopoli, Christoph Eschenbach, and Christian Thielemann for three consecutive seasons at the Bayreuth Festival. Under Simon Rattle he made his debut with the same role at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In the role of Sarastro, Reiter made two important festival debuts: 2002 in Salzburg and 2005 in Glyndebourne. Other debuts in the last few years include his U.S. opera debut in San Francisco as Timur in Turandot and a much acclaimed debut as Gurnemanz at the Welsh National Opera. In Bologna and Rome he sang Rocco in Fidelio and in Leonore and made his debut as König Marke in Geneva's new Tristan und Isolde last year, when he also sang the Commendatore in a new Don Giovanni at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Reiter's concert repertory includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis, the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi, and The Creation by Haydn.

    The USC THORNTON CHORAL ARTISTS is a student ensemble at the University of Southern California with the Thornton Chamber Choir, William Dehning conductor, at its core, augmented by the Thornton Concert Choir, Stephen Gothold, conductor. Ranging in number from fifty to eighty voices, they have previously performed Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, marking the third consecutive year that Helmuth Rilling requested their collaboration in his Los Angeles guest-conducting appearances. The ensemble is conducted by William Dehning, chair of Choral and Sacred Music program at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California.


    THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2006, AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2006, AT 8 PM

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2006, AT 8 PM

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




    BARBARA BONNEY, soprano

    RUXANDRA DONOSE, mezzo-soprano

    ERIC CUTLER, tenor


    USC THORNTON CHORAL ARTISTS, William Dehning and Magen Solomon, chorus masters

    Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27, K. 595

    Mozart Requiem in D minor, K. 626

    All three concerts are sponsored by the Michael J. Connell Foundation;

    The February 25 concert is also sponsored by Princess Cruises

    Tickets ($16 -$129) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. 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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    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; Photos: 213.972.3034