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  • WDCH
  • Sep. 28, 2006
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen Leads Opening Night Gala Program of Music By Ravel and Falla, Featuring Basil Twist's Life-Size Puppetry


    Gala Evening includes Pre-concert reception begins at 6 PM; Post-Concert Dinner and Dancing

    Esa-Pekka Salonen launches his 15th season as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with the 2006/2007 season's opening night gala on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program for the black-tie evening, which benefits Music Matters, the Philharmonic's music education programs, features music with a whimsical flavor by Manuel de Falla and Maurice Ravel. Opening and closing the concert are two of Ravel's masterworks: Mother Goose Suite and the rousing Bolero. The centerpiece of the evening's performance is Manuel de Falla's Master Peter's Puppet Show, enacted by life-sized puppets, directed and designed by puppeteer Basil Twist.

    Excellent seats are reserved for this benefit evening, which includes a pre-concert reception, the concert performance, as well as post-concert dinner and dancing. Tickets-ranging in price from $1,500 to $10,000-may be reserved by calling 213.972.3051.

    In keeping with the mission of bringing live music to as broad an audience as possible, support of this event also allows music students and teachers from throughout Los Angeles to attend this concert as guests of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    The city lights and starry skies surrounding Grand Avenue provide the backdrop for the evening's elegant post-concert festivities. Acclaimed chef Joachim Splichal of The Patina Group creates a gourmet dinner suited to theme of the evening.

    Prior to the concert, gala attendees mingle in Walt Disney Concert Hall, enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres beginning at 6:00 p.m. The performance commences promptly at 7:00 p.m., and is immediately followed by dinner and dancing on Grand Avenue.

    The gala committee for the 2006 Los Angeles Philharmonic benefit at Walt Disney Concert Hall includes co-chairs Joan and John Hotchkis and Margaret and Jerrold Eberhardt, plus committee members Lynn Booth, Mary Hayley, Pamela Hoefflin, Ellen Lipson, Carolyn Powers, Carla Sands, Elizabeth Segerstrom, and Alyce de R. Williamson. Special thanks to Gordon and Adele Binder. Lead sponsor: Citigroup SmithBarney. Premium wines provided by Gallo Family Vineyards.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is currently in his 14th season as Music Director. He made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. His current tenure is the second-longest in Philharmonic history, and he recently extended his contract through the 2007/08 season. Alongside his activities as a conductor, Salonen has also won acclaim for his work as a composer. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of works by composers John Adams, Franco Donatoni, William Kraft, Witold Lutoslawski, Magnus Lindberg, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, Tan Dun, and Augusta Read Thomas, as well as his own works. He has led critically acclaimed festivals of music by Ligeti, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Berlioz, and has served as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. He and the Philharmonic have toured extensively since 1992, including extended residencies at the Salzburg Festival and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Salonen's latest orchestral work, Wing on Wing, received its world premiere in June 2004 as part of the Philharmonic's Building Music Festival. In March 2003 Salonen signed an exclusive four-year recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon; in February 2005, the label released Wing on Wing, a disc devoted to his recent works. Before signing with DG, Salonen recorded regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Sony Classical. A Sony disc of Salonen's compositions, including LA Variations, Five Images After Sappho, Giro, Gambit, and Mania, has garnered critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Salonen and the Philharmonic's discography also includes the debut recording of John Adams' Naive and Sentimental Music - a work that the orchestra premiered - for the Nonesuch label. Salonen was born in Helsinki in 1958, and after studies at the Sibelius Academy in Finland and with private teachers Franco Donatoni and Niccolò Castiglioni in Italy, he made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979. He is the recipient of many major awards including the Siena Prize from the Accademia Chigiana in 1993, the first conductor ever to receive the prize; the Royal Philharmonic Society's Opera Award in 1995; and their Conductor Award in 1997. In 1998 he was awarded the rank of Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government; in 2003 he received an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy in Finland.

    In the 2006-07 season, AWET ANDEMICAEL makes her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic repeating her sought-after interpretation of Trujaman in de Falla's El Retablo de Maese Pedro. Also this season, she sings further performances of the de Falla work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Clara in Porgy and Bess with Tulsa Opera, and Messiah at Carnegie Hall. In addition to her acclaimed performances of Messiah with Handel & Haydn Society in the 2005-06 season, she sang Nanetta in Falstaff at France's Festival Lyrique-en-Mer, Carmina Burana with the Milwaukee Symphony under the baton of Andreas Delfs, and El Retablo de Maese Pedro in Washington D.C. In the summer of 2003, Andemicael made her European debut as Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg. In recent seasons she has also sung Trujaman in de Falla's El Retablo de Maese Pedro with the Boston Symphony under the baton of Mo. Frühbeck de Burgos, performances which she repeated at the Tanglewood Festival; the Sandman and Dew Fairy in Hansel und Gretel as well as Voluptua in Barab's comic one-act opera, La Pizza con Funghi with the Hat City Music Theater; and a recital of songs by Libby Larsen and Vernon Duke, sponsored by Joy in Singing. Other past engagements include Adele in Die Fledermaus at San Diego Lyric Opera, her first performances of Trujaman in de Falla's El Retablo de Maese Pedro with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM, a school tour with the Los Angeles Opera as Ashley in The Letter, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Opera Company of Brooklyn, and Orfeo ed Euridice with the Caramoor Music Festival.

    American bass-baritone KYLE KETELSEN is in regular demand by the world's leading opera companies and orchestras for his vibrant and handsome stage presence and his distinctive vocalism. Following his return to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Figaro under Sir Colin Davis, he sings under Sir Colin again this season in his debut with the Orchestre National de France in Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette. Also in 2006/07, he tours Europe under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra in a Mozart anniversary year program. This is followed by his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in Haydn's Harmoniemesse conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. Later in the season, he makes his San Francisco Opera debut as Escamillo in Carmen and returns to the Royal Opera as Zoroastro in Handel's Orlando under Sir Charles Mackerras. He also brings his renowned Figaro to Boston for his debut at Boston Lyric Opera under Stephen Lord. In concert, Kyle Ketelsen has collaborated with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Berlioz's Lélio and Kaija Saariaho's Cinq reflets au l'Amour de loin. Among others, he has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with Haydn's Creation with the Oratorio Society of New York and repeated this work with Music of the Baroque in Chicago. His concert repertoire also includes the Verdi Requiem, Brahms Deutsches Requiem, Handel Messiah, Fauré Requiem, Dvorák Te Deum, the Bach St. Matthew and St. John Passions and the Mozart C-Minor Mass. Among the newest additions to his concert repertoire is Mahler's Eighth Symphony in Madison under John DeMain.

    AGUSTIN PRUNELL-FRIEND was born in Spain and studied at the Guildhall School in London. He made his debut as Don Ramiro in Cenerentola at the Teatro de La Zarzuela, Madrid, in 1996. Since then he is in great demand in the Rossini, baroque and contemporary repertoires all over Europe. Opera credits: Teatro Real Madrid (Celos aun del Ayre Matan); Teatro La Fenice (modern world premiere of Cavalli's Orione, Maderna's Venetian Journal, and Fidelio); ROH Covent Garden, London, with English Bach Festival (Handel's Acis and Galatea, and Lully's Bourgeois Gentilhomme); Opera New Zealand and Pesaro (Cenerentola); "Orfeo" in Sartorio's Orfeo with Pier Luigi Pizzi and Alberto Zedda, and Cefalo in Cavalli's Gli Amori di Apollo e di Daphne also with Pizzi and Zedda. Prunell-Friend regularly appears with orchestras such as Nacional de España, Bergen Philharmonie, Berlin Rundfunk, Dresden Philharmonie, Mexico Symphony, Barroca de Venecia, Grand Ecurie de la Chambre et du Roy, and Nazionale della RAI. And conductors like Frühbeck de Burgos, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Alberto Zedda, Malgoire, Andrea Marcón, Gunter Herbig and Ilan Volkov. He is also a member of Graham Johnson's Songmakers' Almanac, and performs in the most prestigious European concert halls: Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cologne, Hamburg, Paris and St Cecilia in Rome. Recent and future engagements include: Carmina Burana, Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts and Retablo de Maese Pedro with Frühbeck de Burgos in Turin and Dresden; Britten's War Requiem with Lorin Maazel; Handel's Jephtha with Collegium Vocale Gent and Akademie für Alte Musick Berlin; Fidelio (Jacquino) in Seville; Lieder recitals with Graham Johnson in Spain; Faust Symphony, Liszt, with Juanjo Mena; Les Illuminations with Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse; Bruckner´s Te Deum with Gunter Herbig; Mozart Requiem with Sir Neville Marriner, and Monteverdi's Orfeo with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.

    BASIL TWIST is a third generation puppeteer who lives and works in New York City, and is the sole American graduate of the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in France. Original creations include The Araneidae Show, Symphonie fantastique, Petrushka, Master Peter's Puppet Show, Dogugaeshi, and La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco. Collaborations include Behind The Lid, Mandragora, Red Beads, Underground River, and numerous adventures with Theatre Couture. Twist created the puppetry for the world premiere of Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home. His work has been recognized with an OBIE Award, three UNIMA Citations of Excellence, two Bessie Awards, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, and a 2005 American Theatre Wing/Henry Hewes design Award, and he is a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow. He has recently been commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera to direct and design Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel for their 2006 season. Twist is the director of The Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE Arts Center in New York.

    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.



    Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    AWET ANDEMICAEL, soprano (the Boy)

    AGUSTIN PRUNELL-FRIEND, tenor (Master Peter)

    KYLE KETELSEN, bass-baritone (Don Quijote)

    BASIL TWIST, Director And Designer


    RAVEL Mother Goose Suite

    FALLA Master Peter's Puppet Show

    RAVEL Bolero

    Tickets range from $1,500 - $10,000 and include a significant charitable contribution. This gala evening benefits the Musicians Pension Fund and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

    For more information, please contact the Special Events Department at (213) 972-3051 or

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3408; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; Photos: 213.972.3034