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  • WDCH
  • Mar. 25, 2008
  • Acclaimed Pianist Ursula Oppens Joins for Program Also Featuring Works of Carter and Ginastera

    TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2008, AT 8 PM

    The Gabriela Frank Commission Underwritten by an Anonymous Donor With Additional Support From the Sue Knussen Fund; Harold Meltzer Piano Concerto Generously Underwritten by Margaret and David Barry

    Los Angeles Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Joana Carneiro leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group in a Green Umbrella series concert featuring two world premieres, Tuesday, March 25, at 8 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The premieres, both New Music Group-commissioned pieces, are Harold Meltzer’s new work, Privacy, A Piano Concerto with Winds, Brass and Percussion, with soloist Ursula Oppens, and Gabriela Lena Frank’s New Andean Songs, with soprano Tony Arnold and mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway. Also on the program are Carter’s Dialogues, with Oppens, and Ginastera’s Cantata para América Mágica with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Aston and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, conducted by Rand Steiger.

    Meltzer’s music has been recognized in the last several years with the Rome Prize, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He notes in his description of Privacy that the soloist, seeking and longing for independence and calm, is thwarted by the invasive ensemble, but at the end is finally able to break free.

    The Berkeley-born Frank, who is of Peruvian, Chinese, Lithuanian and Jewish descent, often uses her compositions to explore her multicultural heritage, and also utilizes her studies of Latin American folklore by incorporating poetry, mythology and native musical styles into a Western classical framework. Her New Andean Songs employs texts from poems collected by folklorist José María Arguedas that stem from the Inca era and are set to music inspired by the indigenous musical practices and sounds of the Andean mountain cultures of Peru.

    Carter’s Dialogues is described by the Pulitzer prize-winning composer as a conversation complete with responses, interruptions and arguing between the soloist and orchestra. The piece, composed in 2003, received its world premiere in January 2004 with Nicolas Hodges as the soloist and Oliver Knussen conducting the London Sinfonietta.

    Ginastera’s Cantata para América Mágica was written during the period in which the composer incorporated 12-tone techniques and avant-garde procedures into his music, reaching a synthesis of traditional and post-serial elements. The large six-movement work, written for dramatic soprano and percussion orchestra, mixes Colombian folkloric elements with thematic and structural devices common to the Second Viennese School and traces a narrative arc from invocation and romance to battle, defeat and apocalyptic prophecy. The fourth movement, the purely instrumental “Interludio fantástico,” is a fleet, shimmering toccata that gradually adds instruments until reaching a climax on a tremolo, 12-note chord before receding in reverse order.

    The Philharmonic’s groundbreaking Green Umbrella series offers five concerts during the 2007/08 season, featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and guest conductors. The remainder of the 2007/08 season lineup includes one more U.S. premiere: In Seven Days by Thomas Adès with video by Tal Rosner (May 27, 2008).

    An Upbeat Live pre-concert event takes place in Walt Disney Concert Hall’s BP Hall one hour prior to the concert, and is free to all ticket holders. Steven Stucky, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Consulting Composer for New Music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, hosts.

    As a finalist of the prestigious 2002 Maazel-Vilar Conductor’s Competition at Carnegie Hall, JOANA CARNEIRO was recognized by the jury for demonstrating a level of potential that holds great promise for her future career. Since then, her profile has grown quickly, both in the U.S. and Europe, and recent engagements include performances with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the New World Symphony, the Algarve Symphony, the Mancini Institute Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She also served as assistant conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Paris Opera’s premiere of Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho. In the past three seasons, Carneiro has been a Conducting Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a program developed and managed by the American Symphony Orchestra League with the aim of supporting the musical and leadership development of exceptionally talented conductors in the early stages of their professional careers. Carneiro was one of three conductors chosen to participate in the newly-founded Allianz Cultural Foundation International Conductors Academy in London during 2003/2004, and, as part of this program, has benefited from guidance from Maestros Kurt Masur and Christoph von Dohnányi as well as the opportunity to conduct both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. In March 2004, Carneiro was decorated by the President of the Portuguese Republic, Mr. Jorge Sampaio, with the Commendation of the Order of the Infante Dom Henrique. She completed her tenure as Music Director of the YMF Debut Orchestra in June 2005, having won the Young Musician’s Foundation’s 2002 National Conductor Search, whose past winners include among others André Previn, Michael Tilson Thomas and Lucas Richman. In the 2007/2008 season, Carneiro continues her work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and makes her debut with the Chicago Opera Theater as assistant conductor for their production of A Flowering Tree in May 2008. A native of Lisbon, Carneiro began her musical studies as a violist before receiving her conducting degree from the Academia Nacional Superior de Orquestra in Lisbon, where she studied with Jean-Marc Burfin. Carneiro received her Masters in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University, as a student of Victor Yampolsky and Mallory Thompson and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Kenneth Kiesler.

    URSULA OPPENS, one of the very first artists ever to grasp the importance of programming traditional and contemporary works in equal measure, has won a singular place in the hearts of her public, critics, and colleagues alike. Her sterling musicianship, uncanny understanding of the composer’s artistic argument, and lifelong study of the keyboard’s resources, have placed her among the elect of performing musicians. During the 2007/08 season Oppens has been heard in New York at Merkin Hall in a world premiere by William Bolcom and at Symphony Space in a recital of solo works by Elliott Carter. She will also be heard in recital in San Diego and Los Angeles. This season she is recording all the solo piano works of Mr. Carter for Cedille Records and the complete solo works of Tobias Picker for Wergo Records. In the fall of 2008, Oppens takes up her new post as Distinguished Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. From 1994 through the end of this season, she has served as John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Oppens has been presented in recital by leading concert series and has appeared as soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to recent engagements with the Chicago and Cleveland Symphonies, she has been soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the San Francisco, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Houston, Cincinnati and Seattle symphonies, as well as the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras. She has given recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Metropolitan Museum of Art; Orchestra Hall in Chicago; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An enduring commitment to integrating new music into regular concert life has led Oppens to commission and premiere countless compositions including those by such varied composers as Anthony Braxton, Elliott Carter, Anthony Davis, John Harbison, Julius Hemphill, Tania León, György Ligeti, Witold Lutoslawski, Conlon Nancarrow, Tobias Picker, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Singleton, Joan Tower, Lois V. Vierk, Christian Wolff, Amnon Wolman and Charles Wuorinen. Oppens studied piano with her mother, the late Edith Oppens, as well as with Leonard Shure and Guido Agosti, and received her master’s degree at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Felix Galimir and Rosina Lhévinne. As an undergraduate at Radcliffe College, she studied English literature and economics. A native New Yorker and current resident, Oppens made her New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1969 under the auspices of Young Concert Artists. She won first prize in the Busoni International Piano Competition that same year, and was awarded the Diploma d’onore of the Accademia Chigiana in 1970. A co-founder of Speculum Musicae in 1976, Oppens won an Avery Fisher Career Grant, which led to a performance with the New York Philharmonic. She can be heard on Angel, Arista, Audivis, BMG, Bridge, CBS Masterworks, CP2, CRI, De Note, Koch International Classics, Music and Arts, Vanguard, New Albion, New World, Nonesuch and Watt Works.

    Soprano TONY ARNOLD was thrust into the international spotlight when she became the first vocalist ever to win First Prize in the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition, Holland. On the heels of that triumph, Arnold took First Prize at the 15th McMahon International Music Competiton (USA). Her recent work has focused on some of the most innovative composers of our time, including György Ligeti, Thomas Adès, Luciano Berio, György Kurtág, George Crumb, Bernard Rands, Elliott Carter and Oliver Knussen. Arnold's recording of Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children (Bridge) was nominated for a 2006 Grammy award and was followed by a series of critically acclaimed recordings, including Carter's Of Challenge and of Love (Bridge); Crumb's Madrigals (Bridge); Berio's Sequenza (Naxos); Milton Babbitt's Quatrains (Bridge); Stefan Wolpe's Early Songs (Bridge); and Tania León's Singin' Sepia (Bridge). Her upcoming recording of Kurtág's Kafka Fragments features a filmed segment with the composer. Arnold is currently Professor of Voice at The State University of New York at Buffalo.

    STEPHANIE ASTON, mezzo-soprano, is a committed performer of contemporary music. She has participated in several American and world premieres, including Luigi Nono’s Guai ai gelidi mostri and Michael Gordon’s What To Wear (both at the REDCAT in Los Angeles) as well as Georges Aperghis’s Sextuor: L’origine des espèces. She has appeared on the CalArts Creative Music Festival, in John Zorn’s Rituals, as well as the UCSD Spring Festival of New Music, in Jason Eckardt’s Tongues. Aston has also performed with the CalArts New Century Players, and 18-squared, Los Angeles’ resident Steve Reich ensemble. Recent projects include the recording of Boulez’s Le Marteau sans Maître, as well as the performance of Phillipe Manoury’s Cruel Spirals. Aston holds an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts and a B.M. from University of North Texas, and she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego.

    Mezzo-soprano RACHEL CALLOWAY has performed to acclaim throughout North America in opera and on the concert stage. She appeared at Glimmerglass Opera as a member of the prestigious Young American Artists Program and has also sung with Tulsa Opera, Central City Opera and Gotham Chamber Opera. Her operatic roles include Madame de Croissy in Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Nancy in Albert Herring, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Angelina in La Cenerentola, Luisa in Luisa Fernanda, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas. Equally at home in musical theater, Calloway has performed such roles as "Bloody Mary" in South Pacific, "Dorothy Brock" in 42nd Street, and "Golde" in Fiddler on the Roof. As an oratorio soloist, she has performed the Mozart Requiem as well as Bach's St. John Passion for Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS. An avid recitalist, Calloway has appeared at Steinway Hall, the Chautauqua Institution, Alice Tully Hall, Glimmerglass Opera and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. A proponent of contemporary and lesser-known music, Calloway has performed Pierrot Lunaire at Alice Tully Hall, Columbia University and the Juilliard School, as well as in the FOCUS! Festival of New Music. She recently performed the world premiere of Kareem Roustom's That Which is Adored at Tufts University, and has premiered countless other works at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Cornell University and Temple University. Calloway is also active as a member of Shir Ami, an ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of Entartete Musik, or "degenerate music" which was condemned by the Nazi regime. A winner of numerous awards and honors, Calloway was a Covent Garden Jette-Parker Young Artist Program Finalist at the Royal Opera House in London. As winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, Calloway performed Ravel's Shéhérazade with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, conducted by George Manahan. She was a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has also received awards from the Metropolitan National Council, first prize in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, two Central City Opera Young Artist Awards, and the Center for Contemporary Opera's International Voice Competition. A native of Philadelphia, Calloway holds degrees from both the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, and maintains an active teaching studio.

    red fish blue fish is the resident percussion ensemble of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The group functions as a laboratory for the development of new percussion techniques, sounds and music. Founded by Steven Schick, the group has toured widely including performances at Lincoln Center and the Henry Street Settlement in New York City, the Agora Festival (Paris), the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series, the Centro des Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in addition to its regular series at the UCSD. red fish blue fish was ensemble-in-residence at the 2007 June in Buffalo festival and will be the featured ensemble at the Tapei International Percussion Conference in 2008. The group has recorded for John Zorn's "Tzadik" label and has recently released a three-CD set of the complete percussion works of Iannis Xenakis on Mode records to great critical acclaim. In the fall of 2007 red fish blue fish premiered Roger Reynold's evening-length "Sanctuary" – a collaborative project that has developed for more than four years – at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

    Composer/conductor RAND STEIGER was born in New York City in 1957. His compositions have been performed and commissioned by many leading ensembles and organizations including the American Composers Orchestra, Ircam, La Jolla Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Southbank Sinfonia, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as Composer Fellow from 1987 through 1989. His compositions and performances are recorded on the Centaur, CRI, Crystal, Einstein, Koch, Mode, New Albion, New World and Nonesuch labels, and new projects are in development for Bridge and EMF. Of late, his work has centered on the combination of traditional instruments with real-time digital audio signal processing and spatialization, including Ecosphere for large chamber ensemble, developed during residencies at Ircam and premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Résonateur, composed for the Ensemble Sospeso to commemorate the 80th birthday of Pierre Boulez, Dreamscape, commissioned by the New York chamber ensemble Mosaic, and Traversing, written for cellist Mathew Barley and the Southbank Sinfonia. A work in progress for the American Composers Orchestra will deploy digital signal processing on seven instruments within the orchestra. Previously he worked with Miller Puckette and Vibeke Sorensen on the creation of a system for networked, real-time computer graphics and music, (supported by a three-year grant from the Intel Research Council).

    Steiger is also active as a conductor specializing in contemporary works. He has conducted the Arditti Quartet, Aspen Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, La Jolla Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, New York New Music Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain (Switzerland), and the California EAR Unit, of which he was the founding artistic director. Among his recordings as conductor are operas by Hilda Paredes and Anthony Davis, and works by Carter, LeBaron, Osborn, Reynolds, Stockhausen, Subotnick, and Xenakis. He has also conducted many premieres, including works of Andriessen, Babbitt, Boulez, Carter, Ferneyhough, Harvey, Kernis, Newton, Nono, Reynolds, Riley, Rudders, Rzewski, Saariaho, Scelsi, Subotnick, Takemitsu, Tavener and Tüür. Engagements this season include Xenakis on the Monday Evening Concerts, and Ginastera on the Green Umbrella series in Los Angeles. Steiger was a member of the Faculty of California Institute of the Arts from 1982 through 1987, and is currently Chair of the Music Department at the University of California, San Diego.

    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, MARCH 25, 2008, at 8 PM

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

    Green Umbrella


    JOANA CARNEIRO, conductor

    URSULA OPPENS, piano

    TONY ARNOLD, soprano

    RACHEL CALLOWAY, mezzo-soprano


    STEVEN SCHICK, director

    RAND STEIGER, conductor

    STEPHANIE ASTON, mezzo-soprano

    MELTZER Privacy, A Piano Concerto with Winds, Brass and Percussion (LAP New Music Group commission;
    world premiere)

    FRANK New Andean Songs (LAP New Music Group commission; world premiere)
    CARTER Dialogues

    GINASTERA Cantata para América Mágica

    The Gabriela Frank commission is underwritten by an anonymous donor with additional support from the Sue Knussen Fund; the Harold Meltzer Piano Concerto is generously underwritten by Margaret and David Barry.

    An Upbeat Live pre-concert event takes place in BP Hall at Walt Disney Concert Hall one hour prior to the concert, and is free to all ticket holders. Steven Stucky, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Consulting Composer for New Music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, hosts.

    Tickets ($22-47) 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 information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Lisa White, 213.972.3408,; Photos: 213.972.3034