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  • WDCH
  • May. 15, 2008
  • Program Also Includes Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Janá?ek's Capriccio For Piano Left Hand And Winds Featuring Acclaimed Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard


    FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2008, AT 11 AM

    SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2008, AT 2 PM

    Christoph Von Dohnányi, recognized as one of the world's pre-eminent orchestral and opera conductors, leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in four performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, “Eroica” as well as Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques and Janá?ek's Capriccio for Piano Left Hand and Winds featuring acclaimed pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard. The concerts, at Walt Disney Concert Hall, are Thursday, May 15, at 8 p.m., Friday, May 16, at 11 a.m., Saturday, May, 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m.

    Messiaen described his work, composed between 1955 and 1956 on a commission by his former student Pierre Boulez, as "almost a piano concerto, with three short cadenzas and two longer ones." Its extreme virtuosic demands prove it to be a full-blown piano concerto. With the title translated to "Exotic Birds," its score as a whole uses bird songs from India, China, Malaysia (East Indies), and North and South America.

    Dohnányi's appointments have included opera directorships in Frankfurt and Hamburg; principal orchestral conducting posts in Germany, London and Paris; and his legendary 20-year tenure as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra in addition to guest engagements with the major opera houses and orchestras of Europe and North America. Grammy-winner Aimard, widely hailed as a key figure in the music of our time and as a leading interpreter of the standard piano repertoire, enjoys an internationally celebrated career, which transcends traditional boundaries.

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place in BP Hall one hour prior to each concert, and are free to all ticket holders. Beverly Grigsby, composer and professor of composition at California State University Northridge, hosts.

    CHRISTOPH VON DOHNÁNYI ends his reign as principal conductor of the London Philharmonia Orchestra after the 2007/08 season, a relationship that started in 1997, prior to which he served for three years as principal guest conductor. He has been chief conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra since 2004. Born in Berlin, Dohnányi joined the Munich Academy of Music to study composition, piano and conducting. At the end of his studies he was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize for conducting by the City of Munich and continued to study with his grandfather, Ernst von Dohnányi, at Florida State University. In 1953, he was hired as repetiteur and conductor at the Frankfurt Opera by Sir Georg Solti. At the age of 27 he moved to Lübeck where he became Germany’s youngest general music director before becoming chief conductor first in Kassel and then of the Westdeutsche Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra in Cologne. From 1968 he served as general music director in Frankfurt and from 1972 as director of the Frankfurt Opera. From 1977 to 1984, he was Intendant and Chief Conductor of Hamburg Opera. Dohnányi first conducted the Cleveland Orchestra in 1981. He was music director designate from 1982 to 1984, and served as its sixth music director from September 1984 to August 2002, becoming the orchestra’s first music director laureate in September 2002. During Dohnányi's tenure, the orchestra toured extensively around the United States, Asia and Europe, performing concerts for the Salzburg Festival, BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festival and was in residence at Carnegie Hall a number of times. His many recordings with the orchestra include the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, and Wagner’s Die Walküre and Das Rheingold. Since 2002 he has been guest conducting the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Dohnányi’s discography includes Fidelio, Wozzeck, Lulu, Erwartung, Salome, Der fliegende Holländer and symphonic works by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky. He has recorded the violin concertos of Glass and Schnittke with Gidon Kremer, the Dvo?ák Piano Concerto with András Schiff and orchestral transcriptions of chamber music by Brahms and Mahler. Dohnányi has been a guest conductor with all the major orchestras and opera houses in the U.S. as well as in Europe. As a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, Dohnányi has led the Vienna Philharmonic in several new productions including Salome, Der Rosenkavalier, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Erwartung, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as the world premieres of Henze’s Die Bassariden and Cerha’s Baal.

    PIERRE-LAURENT AIMARD performs throughout the world each season with the major orchestras under noted conductors including Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Franz Welser-Möst. During the 2006/07 season he curated and performed in his own “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall, a “carte blanche” at the Konzerthaus Vienna, and was pianist-in-residence with the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2007, he has also featured a ground-breaking song and chamber music recital series at the Palais Garnier, Opera de Paris; and his invitation as "artiste étoile" at the Lucerne Festival. In 2008, he is artistic director of the Southbank Centre, London's Messiaen festival; and “Artist-in-Residence” both for the Mozarteum Salzburg and with the Cleveland Orchestra. The Cité de la Musique, Paris, also invites him to curate a “Domaine privé," and he continues as artistic partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Through professorships in Cologne and Paris, as well as series of concert lectures and workshops worldwide, he sheds an inspiring and very personal light on music from all periods. He was the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist Award in spring 2005 and was named Instrumentalist of the Year 2007 by Musical America. Born in Lyon, France, in 1957, Aimard studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Yvonne Loriod and in London with Maria Curcio. Early career landmarks included winning first prize in the 1973 Messiaen Competition, and being appointed at the age of 19 by Pierre Boulez to become the Ensemble InterContemporain's first solo pianist. For more than 15 years Aimard collaborated closely with György Ligeti, recording his complete works. Aimard now records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft; and his first DGG release, Bach's Art of Fugue, has received the 'Diapason d'Or' award; the prize for the 'Choc du Monde de la Musique'; debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's classical chart and has topped the classical album download chart on iTunes U.S. In recent years Aimard has been honored with ECHO Classic Awards, both in 2003 for his recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt; and in 2004 for his Debussy Images and Etudes. Aimard’s recording of Ives’s Concord Sonata and Songs with Susan Graham was a Grammy winner in 2005. Additional releases in recent years include recital discs of Ravel, Carter and Schumann; while Mozart Piano Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, directed from the keyboard by Aimard, have been hailed as “one of the most exquisite Mozart recordings of all time” (Wolfram Goertz, Die Zeit, 13 October, 2005.)

    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, MAY 15, 2008, at 8 PM

    FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2008, at 11 AM

    SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2008, at 8 PM

    SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2008, at 2 PM

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




    JANÁ?EK Capriccio for Piano Left Hand and Winds

    MESSIAEN Oiseaux exotiques

    BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

    Upbeat Live pre-concert events take place in BP Hall one hour prior to each concert, and are free to all ticket holders. Beverly Grigsby, composer and professor of composition at California State University Northridge, hosts.

    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. When available, choral bench seats ($15) are released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital and Baroque Variations performances two weeks 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 information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Photos: 213.972.3034