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  • WDCH
  • Mar. 8, 2007
  • Concert Program Features Young Chinese Pianist Yundi Li as Soloist

    THURSDAY and FRIDAY, MARCH 8 and 9, at 8 PM

    SATURDAY and SUNDAY, MARCH 10 and 11, at 2 PM

    March 9 Concert Sponsored by Acura

    Internationally recognized American conductor Leonard Slatkin leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Thursday and Friday, March 8 and 9 at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, at 2 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert program includes Reich's Triple Quartet, a piece for strings written in 1999, Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring young Chinese pianist Yundi Li, and Holst's The Planets with the women of Pacific Chorale (John Alexander, artistic director).

    Slatkin is Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. His performances throughout North America, Europe and the Far East have been distinguished by imaginative programming and highly praised interpretations of both the standard and contemporary symphonic repertoire. Additionally, he is well-known for his work as an advocate of music education.

    Li, described as having a virtuosic technique and a poetic style, has won many prestigious competitions, including first prize at the Frederic Chopin Competition in 2000 at age eighteen. Pacific Chorale, founded in 1968, is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming, and influential education programs.

    Robert Fink, Associate Professor of Musicology, UCLA, discusses the concert program at "Upbeat Live," a free event open to all ticket holders, held in BP Hall one hour before each performance.

    As part of Acura's sponsorship of the March 9 performance, all Acura vehicles entering the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking garage that evening park at no charge.

    Combining the roles of internationally celebrated conductor, staunch advocate for music education, and champion of American music and musicians, LEONARD SLATKIN, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, was named in 2005 to the post of Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Following a successful tenure as Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony from 1979 until 1996, Slatkin was named Conductor Laureate there. He has also served as Festival Director of the Cleveland Orchestra's Blossom Festival (1990-99), Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra (1997-2000), and Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (2000-2004). Slatkin has made regular appearances with virtually every major international orchestra, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and many others. His performances of opera have taken him to leading opera companies in the U.S. and around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, and Vienna State Opera. Slatkin's more than 100 recordings have been recognized with seven Grammy awards, and more than fifty other Grammy nominations. Throughout his career, Slatkin has demonstrated a continuing commitment to arts education and to reaching diverse audiences. He is the founder and director of the National Conducting Institute, an advanced career development program for young conductors. He also founded the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and has worked with student orchestras across the United States, including those at the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music. Slatkin has received many honors and awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Arts (the highest award given to artists by the United States Government), the Chavalier of the Legion of Honor, ASCAP awards with both the National and Saint Louis Symphonies, an honorary doctorate from his alma mater The Juilliard School, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the D.C. Mayor's Arts Awards, and the prestigious Declaration of Honor in Silver from the Austrian ambassador to the United States for outstanding contributions to cultural relations.

    YUNDI LI was born in Chongquing in central China. At the age of four, he started learning to play the accordion, and when he was seven, he began piano lessons. At the age of twelve, Li gave the best performance in a fiercely competitive selection process and thus earned himself a place at the top music school in Sichuan province. About a year later, when Li's teacher decided to take up a post at the School of Arts in Shenzhen, southern China, Li's family moved in order to allow the young prodigy to continue his studies there. At thirteen, Li won the Stravinsky Competition in the United States. He went on to take First Prize at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in the United States and Third Prize at the Franz Liszt Piano Competition in the Netherlands, as well as being a major winner in the Second China International Piano Competition in Beijing. At just eighteen, Li won the first prize at the Frederic Chopin Competition held in Warsaw in October 2000. He is currently on the roster of Deutsche Grammophon, and his first recording for the label was an all-Chopin recital album, released in early 2002. He continues his musical studies in Germany.

    PACIFIC CHORALE, led by Artistic Director John Alexander, is comprised of 170 professional and volunteer singers. The Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and is sought regularly to perform with the nation's leading orchestras. In addition to its long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Walt Disney Concert Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside, and San Diego symphonies. John Alexander and the Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America, and Asia. The Chorale has received numerous awards, including Chorus America's prestigious Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence and the first national Educational Outreach Award. Most recently, Pacific Chorale received the 2005 ASCAP Chorus America Alice Parker Award for adventurous programming. Pacific Chorale's performances can be heard on seven CDs.

    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.


    THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2007 AT 8 PM

    FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2007 AT 8 PM

    SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2007 AT 2 PM

    SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2007 AT 2 PM

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


    Leonard Slatkin, conductor

    Yundi Li, piano

    Women of Pacific Chorale (John Alexander, artistic director)

    REICH Triple Quartet

    LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1

    HOLST The Planets

    Robert Fink, associate professor of musicology, UCLA, discusses the concert program at "Upbeat Live," a free event open to all ticket holders held in BP Hall one hour before each performance.

    The March 9 concert is sponsored by Acura.

    Tickets ($15 - $135) 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 10 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