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  • WDCH
  • Mar. 1, 2008
  • Program Includes Excerpts of Works by Beethoven and Stravinsky

    SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2008, AT 11 AM and

    SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2008, AT 11 AM


    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s 2007/2008 Toyota Symphonies for Youth (TSFY) concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall continues on Saturday, March 1, at 11 a.m., with Nathaniel Stookey’s The Composer is Dead, an orchestral whodunit that leaves no instrument unturned. The program repeats on Saturday, March 8, at 11 a.m.

    The Composer is Dead engages students in a gripping musical mystery in which the music and narration work together to produce an investigative stroll through the ranks of orchestral instruments. The original narration is written by international best-selling author Lemony Snicket, best known for his series of novels for children, known collectively as A Series of Unfortunate Events. The music is composed by Nathaniel Stookey, an accomplished violinist and violist whose works have been performed by a broad range of distinguished ensembles. Narrator Bennett Schneider guides audiences through the story, which features the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Assistant Conductor Lionel Bringuier, performing excerpts from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird (1919 revision), as well as The Composer is Dead.

    The TSFY concerts are adapted for younger audiences through orchestral theater – an art form that specializes in featuring the orchestra in a theatrical setting. On Saturday, April 12 and 19, the 2007/08 TSFY series concludes with Berlioz’ Fantastic Symphony. Before every concert, from 10 to 11 a.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall becomes a musical playground with hands-on art making, musical activities, dance and storytelling or theater. Workshops take place in the lobby spaces one hour prior to the performance. Judi Garratt, Los Angeles Unified School District Elementary Theatre Teacher for the Arts Education Branch, coordinates all pre-concert activities.

    Winner of the 49th Besançon Young Conductors Competition, pianist and cellist LIONEL BRINGUIER was also awarded the “Prix du Public,” as the audience’s favorite, by unanimous decision of the Besançon jury, as well as the top vote of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the musicians of the festival. Born in Nice, France in 1986, Bringuier began his musical studies at the Academy of Nice at the age of 5 and gave his first cello recital before the Countess of Paris at the age of 9. At 13, he was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSM) in the cello class of Philippe Muller. There, he furthered his academic work in chamber music, choral singing, and jazz studies. In 2000, he began his conducting studies at the CNSM, where he continues today under the tutelage of Zsolt Nagy. Additionally, he has participated in masterclasses with Peter Eötvös and János Fürst. Performance engagements have included concerts with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava, the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble Modern Academy Frankfurt, the Ensemble Aventure Freiburg, the Orchestre National d’Île de France, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and the Helsinki Philharmonic. He also made his podium debut with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, and the Gurzenich Orchestra Cologne, among others, in the 2006/07 season. In June 2004, Bringuier obtained his diploma in cello from the CNSM de Paris with a “Mention Très Bien à l’unanimité” as well as a “Mention Très Bien à l’unanimité” in conducting. Other distinctions include the “Médaille d’or à l’unanimité avec les felicitations du jury à l’Académie Prince Rainier III de Monaco,” the “Médaille d’or” from the Lord Mayor of Nice, and first prize in a competition organized by the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra in Ostrava. He is also a prizewinner of the Swiss Foundation Langart and the Cziffra Foundation. He began his two-year appointment as Assistant Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in September 2007. Bringuier was selected through a competitive process that included over 150 applicants from around the world. In his first season as Assistant Conductor, he will conduct many of the Philharmonic’s education and community concerts as well as subscription concerts at the world-renowned Hollywood Bowl, the Philharmonic’s summer home.

    DEBBIE DEVINE is a co-founder of 24th Street Theatre, where she is the Artistic Director. She has been at the forefront of Youth & Family Theatre for over a decade as the founder and artistic director of one of L.A.'s most acclaimed theater companies, Glorious Repertory Company. She has won numerous theater awards for her work in the theater as an actor, director, and producer. Debbie heads the drama programs at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Poseidon School and the STAR enrichment program, and has taught at Cal Arts, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, for the California Arts Council, and literally hundreds of California schools. Debbie was awarded the 1999 Innovation and Leadership Award in Arts Education by the USC Rossier School of Education.

    DANIEL HANDLER a.k.a. LEMONY SNICKET is an international best-selling author. An alleged San Francisco native, he is best known for his series of novels for children, known collectively as A Series of Unfortunate Events, which chronicle the misfortunes of the likeable but luckless Baudelaire siblings. To date, the books in A Series of Unfortunate Events have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide and been translated into 39 languages; the first three books in the series formed the basis for the 2004 hit film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Mr. Snicket is represented in all legal, literary, and social matters by Daniel Handler, who has also written three novels for adults, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs. An alumnus of the San Francisco Boys Chorus and graduate of San Francisco’s Lowell High School, he graduated from Wesleyan University in 1992.

    Actor, writer, and director BENNETT SCHNEIDER was born and reared in New England. His mother taught Shakespeare at a private high school near Boston and his father was Bozo the Clown for a television station in southern Massachusetts. Once ensconced on the West coast, Schneider studied advanced improvisation and performed with the Groundlings and Los Angeles Theater Sports. Then he gave up performing entirely and spent the next two years studying meditation and Hindu ritual, mythology and philosophy in New York and India, and later computer programming in Los Angeles. Returning to theater initially through performance art workshops at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, Schneider was asked by Robert Prior to join his newly formed company, Fabulous Monsters, and stayed for seven years. He won an LA Weekly Theater Award for his work in Fabulous Monsters’ production of Speed Hedda in April of 2000. He has written, directed and performed full-length solo shows at Highways, the 24th Street Theater, and Glaxa Studios, and has performed for 12 years with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for whom he has written, directed and acted in three full stage productions: The History of Religion, Sin, and Red Leather Ridinghood. He has also appeared on the Andy Dick Show on MTV, Mind of Mencia on Comedy Central, and the Anna Nicole Smith Show. Bennett taught writing for theater and acting, and directed at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute for six years. He guest lectures at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University and at the University of Redlands. Bennett is a producer, writer and voice over artist for, where he has co-created over a thousand unique animations. Currently Bennett is producing his own short storytelling videos of great Indian myths leading to a future video collection of the entire Indian classic, The Mahabharata, told chapter by chapter in individual videos.

    NATHANIEL STOOKEY is a gifted composer with impressive credentials. A violinist and violist with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) from 1986 through 1988, he has held a number of prestigious composer-in-residency appointments, including posts at the Hallé Orchestra (Manchester, U.K.) with Kent Nagano, and the North Carolina Symphony with Gerhardt Zimmermann. In 1988, at age 18, Stookey became the youngest composer to have his music performed in the Symphony’s New and Unusual Music series. Significant orchestral compositions have included Big Bang (2001), written and performed for the inauguration of Meymandi Hall in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Wide as Skies (2002) for the national centennial of the first airplane flight. For the Hallé Orchestra, one of his commissions was Colliding with Chris: The Rhythmical Tale of a Runaway Bike, a narrated orchestral work for a family audience based on a story by San Francisco author Dan Harder, which was a London Times Critic’s Choice. Stookey’s chamber music has been featured on series and festivals in the U.S., U.K., Italy and Germany, including the 2005 Mendelssohn-Festtage in Leipzig. The Lindsay String Quartet included Stookey’s Quartet No. 1 in its final North American tour, and the SFSYO performed his piece Out of the Everywhere during its 2004/05 season. In 2005, Albany Records released Stookey’s Music for Strings (1992-2002).

    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.

    Toyota Symphonies for Youth is generously sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Additional support is provided by the Amgen Foundation, Marie Baier Foundation, Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Smith Barney Citigroup Foundation, Edison International, Employees Community Fund of Boeing California, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Philharmonic Affiliates, B.C. McCabe Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Morgan Stanley, David and Linda Shaheen Foundation, and the State Street Corporation.


    SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2008, at 11 AM

    SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2008, at 11 AM

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

    Toyota Symphonies for Youth

    The Composer is Dead


    LIONEL BRINGUIER, conductor



    DEBBIE DEVINE, director


    STEPHEN SIMON, pallbearer

    JON MONASTERO, pallbearer

    JACKIE BANKS, stage manager

    LISA D. KATZ, lighting designer

    PAULA HIGGINS, costume designer

    LEON MARTELL, clown sequence dramaturg

    Pre-Concert Activites Creative Team

    JUDI GARRATT, activities coordinator


    CANDY DANZIG, theater/storytelling

    JOAN HARRISON, visual arts


    Tickets ($18) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane,, 213.972.3422; Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034