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  • WDCH
  • Jan. 9, 2007
  • Performance Also Marks 25th Anniversary of Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group and Features Saxophonist Douglas Masek

    Program Offers Works by Lutoslawski, Donatoni and Stucky

    TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2007, AT 8 PM

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic's groundbreaking Green Umbrella new music series celebrates its 20th anniversary with the U.S. premiere of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen's Catch and Release in a performance conducted by Salonen on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 8 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert features saxophonist Douglas Masek and the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, which marks its 25th anniversary. Rounding out the program are pieces by three composers associated with Salonen: Nell'ombra, nella luce by Steven Stucky, the Philharmonic's Consulting Composer for New Music, and Chain I by Witold Lutoslawski, whose work deeply influenced Salonen and who was Stucky's primary teacher; and Hot by Franco Donatoni, with whom Salonen studied. Salonen has also world premiered works by all three composers. Upbeat Live, a free event open to all ticket holders, is held in BP Hall one hour before the performance featuring Stucky in conversation with Salonen and Masek.

    Catch & Release was premiered on July 26, 2006, at the Crusell Music Festival in Finland by the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Storgards. The 22-minute, three-movement work, scored for clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin and double bass, was composed in 2006. With an identical scoring to The Soldier's Tale by Igor Stravinsky (with the cornet replaced by a trumpet), the Finnish premiere was played in a concert with the suite from Stravinsky's masterpiece.

    Masek, who performs with the New Music Group on Donatoni's Hot, is internationally known as one of today's foremost exponents of contemporary saxophone music. He has consistently garnered critical acclaim for his versatility in a wide range of musical styles, from classical and contemporary to jazz.

    The Philharmonic's highly regarded Green Umbrella concerts, which feature the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group led by Salonen and guest conductors, are devoted exclusively to compositions on the cutting edge of the repertoire by leading composers and performers of contemporary music. The January 9 evening is the third of five Green Umbrella concerts during the 2006-07 season. Composer/conductor John Adams returns to Los Angeles to lead a program of his own works, Gnarly Buttons and Grand Pianola Music, on January 23, 2007, and Associate Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate leads a Shadow of Stalin program that includes music of Schnittke and Gubaidulina on May 15, 2007.

    Works originally announced for the January 9 concert program were changed due to the withdrawal of soprano Dawn Upshaw, who was scheduled to appear, who underwent treatment for early-stage breast cancer. (The prognosis for Upshaw's return to full health is excellent.)

    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.

    DOUGLAS MASEK has premiered dozens of compositions written exclusively for him, and his discography includes seven CD solo collections. With extensive concert touring in the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, he is a frequent guest performer at the Stellenbosch Music Festival in South Africa, and recently was featured soloist at the American Music Festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He has also performed as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, the Ojai Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Among the notable conductors he has performed with are Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kent Nagano, Plácido Domingo, John Mauceri, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Jorge Mester, David Robertson, Carl St.Clair, Valery Gergiev, Jeffrey Kahane, Gisèle Ben-Dor, JoAnn Falletta, and Marin Alsop. Masek received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and his MM degree from Ohio State University and completed his academic education with a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Southern California. In much demand as a master teacher, Douglas is also a Vandoren Elite Artist, performing and lecturing internationally at schools, colleges, and universities. He is currently Professor of Saxophone at UCLA. Douglas has also recorded for Centaur, Albany, Cambria, Atlantic, Koch International, Stereophile, Summit, and Philips Classics. He continues to perform on motion picture sound tracks for Sony, Warner, Paramount, Universal, Disney, and 20th Century, along with television and radio broadcasts.

    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.


    TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2007, AT 8 PM

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

    Green Umbrella


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    DOUGLAS MASEK, saxophone



    STUCKY Nell'ombra, nella luce

    SALONEN Catch and Release (U.S. premiere)

    Upbeat Live, a free event open to all ticket holders, is held one hour before this performance in BP Hall featuring Steven Stucky, Philharmonic Consulting Composer for New Music, in conversation with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Douglas Masek.

    Tickets ($21 - $45) are on sale now online at, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, 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:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310,; Photos: 213.972.3034