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  • WDCH
  • Nov. 15, 2007
  • Brazilian Pianist Nelson Freire Joins the Ensemble as Soloist for Schumann's Piano Concerto


    Four ensembles with conductors of worldwide acclaim bring varying programs to Walt Disney Concert Hall as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association presents the 2007/2008 Visiting Orchestras series. The inimitable Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra return for a single performance on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 8 p.m. The performance is its first visit to the Hall since November 2004. Temirkanov leads the orchestra in Schubert's Entr'acte No. 3 from Rosamunde and selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet; Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire joins them for Schumann's Piano Concerto.

    The remaining series performances include the Walt Disney Concert Hall debuts of ensembles from the Netherlands, Britain and China: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (conducted by Mariss Jansons) on January 29 and 30, 2008; the Philharmonia Orchestra (conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi) on May 6 and 7, 2008; and the China Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Long Yu with special guest pianist Lang Lang) on May 22, 2008. All performances commence at 8 p.m.

    The St. Petersburg Philharmonic begins the program with Entr'acte No. 3 from Rosamunde - incidental music Schubert composed for the play, Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern by Helmina von Chézy in 1823. Although the play may be forgotten, this excerpt remains as one of the two most notable portions of the score.

    Legendary Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire joins the orchestra as soloist for Schumann's Piano Concerto. Schumann's wife Clara, a pianist, urged him to compose more orchestral works. The Concerto's first movement began as a Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra. Schumann added a slow movement and finale to complete the work in 1845.

    The program concludes with selections from the sweepingly romantic ballet score, Romeo and Juliet. Prokofiev's musical realization of the star-crossed lovers was first rejected as a ballet from the Kirov Theater, and then later by the Bolshoi's director as "undanceable." Prokofiev premiered the work in 1938, although it was not performed as a ballet in Moscow until 1940.

    Russell Steinberg, faculty member at UCLA, discusses the concert program at "Upbeat Live;" open to all ticket holders, this free event is held in BP Hall one hour before the performance. Mr. Steinberg, a composer, conductor and performer, is the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.

    The ST. PETERSBURG PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA is Russia's oldest symphony orchestra. It was formed out of the Imperial Music Choir in 1882, initially playing only for the Imperial Court and in aristocratic circles. It was declared a Soviet state orchestra soon after the Bolshevik Revolution - as early as October 19, 1917 - and gave its first public concert in Russia on November 8, 1917. A year later the orchestra was incorporated into the newly founded Petrograd Philharmonic Society, the first concert organization of the U.S.S.R. In 1991, just after its home city was renamed, the orchestra changed its name from the Leningrad Philharmonic to the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Today it is internationally recognized as one of the world's premier symphonic ensembles.

    YURI TEMIRKANOV has been the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra since 1988 and he regularly undertakes major international tours and recordings with this orchestra. Other positions he holds are Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Emeritus of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre. Yuri Temirkanov made his debut with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Leningrad Philharmonic) in early 1967 and was then invited to join the orchestra as Assistant Conductor to Yevgeny Mravinsky. In 1968, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra where he remained until his appointment as Music Director of the Kirov Opera and Ballet (now called the Mariinsky Theatre) in 1976. He remained in this position until 1988. Maestro Temirkanov is a frequent guest conductor of major orchestras in Europe and Asia including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Santa Cecilia, Rome and La Scala. In the USA, he conducts the major orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. His numerous recordings include collaborations with the St Petersburg Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he recorded the complete Stravinsky ballets and the Tchaikovsky symphonic cycle. For ten days over the Christmas holiday, Maestro Temirkanov hosts the annual International Winter Festival Arts Square in St. Petersburg, Russia, to which he invites many of the world's leading soloists.

    Brazilian NELSON FREIRE began piano studies at the age of 3 with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco, who had worked with a pupil of Liszt. He made his first public appearance at age 5 with Mozart's Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331. In 1957, after Freire won the Rio de Janeiro International Piano Competition with his performance of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto, the president of Brazil presented him with a scholarship that allowed him to study with Bruno Seidlhofer, teacher of Friedrich Gulda, in Vienna. Freire made his United States debut in 1970, playing Rachmaninoff's Fourth Concerto with the New York Philharmonic; his New York recital debut took place the next day. Since then, he has toured the United States frequently, appearing in festivals in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago; performing in recital in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Fort Worth, and Carmel; and appearing as soloist with the symphony orchestras of New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Denver, San Jose, and Spokane, among others. He has appeared regularly with the Baltimore Symphony and was the featured soloist at a Wolf Trap Summerfest, where he played four different concertos. On October 17, 1999, Nelson Freire marked the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death with a triumphant performance of the composer's Concerto No. 2 in Warsaw with the Sinfonia Varsovia, Jan Krenz conducting. Freire toured frequently with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Rudolf Kempe, and he has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Eugen Jochum, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, John Nelson, Vaclav Neumann, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and David Zinman. In 1999, Philips released a CD of Freire's most coveted performances on their acclaimed series "Great Pianists of the 20th Century." Freire's recording of the Liszt Piano Concertos with the Dresden Philharmonic was released on Berlin Classics, and his recording of Chopin's 24 Préludes on CBS received the Prix Edison. Additional recordings may be found on Sony/CBS, Teldec, DG, IPA, and London. Nelson Freire is a frequent collaborator with pianist Martha Argerich.

    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, NOVEMBER 15, 2007, 8 PM


    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    YURI TEMIRKANOV, conductor

    NELSON FREIRE, piano

    SCHUBERT Entr'acte No. 3 from Rosamunde

    SCHUMANN Piano Concerto

    PROKOFIEV Selections from Romeo and Juliet

    Russell Steinberg, faculty member at UCLA, discusses the concert program at "Upbeat Live;" open to all ticket holders, this free event is held in BP Hall one hour before the performance. Mr. Steinberg, a composer, conductor and performer, is the Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra.

    Tickets ($40 - $142) are on sale now online at, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, 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 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,; Photos: 213.972.3034