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  • WDCH
  • All-Star Duo of Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman Perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Nov. 12, 2008
  • The LA PHIL’s 2008/09 Colburn Celebrity Series Continues


    The Series is Endowed By a Generous Grant from the Colburn Foundation

    Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC

    No strangers to each other nor to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the dynamic duo of Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman combine their mastery and skill on Wednesday, November 12, at 8 p.m. Appearing as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2008/09 Colburn Celebrity series, the pair’s recital opens and closes with works they have previously performed and recorded together: Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Rachmaninoff’s final work, Symphonic Dances. The remaining pieces in the program include Bolcom’s Recuerdos (Three Traditional Latin American Dances) for Two Pianos, and Mozart’s Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos, K. 448, a work used in the first “Mozart-effect” experiment.

    As close collaborators with Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and celebrators of the maestro’s final season, this recital is one of many performances for Ax and Bronfman at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Ax returns in January as soloist with Salonen and the orchestra, while Bronfman, an LA Phil 2008/09 On Location artist, has already appeared in a chamber music concert, a subscription series program with Salonen and the Philharmonic, joined them in Tokyo for part of their Asia tour, and appears in an upcoming subscription series program.

    This season, the Colburn Celebrity series includes some of the leading pianists of our time as well as a masterful violinist. Future recitals feature Leif Ove Andsnes with violinist Christian Tetzlaff (January 29, 2009); Evgeny Kissin (March 16, 2009); and Krystian Zimerman (April 26, 2009).

    EMANUEL AX is renowned not only for his poetic temperament and unsurpassed virtuosity, but also for the exceptional breadth of his performing activity. Each season his distinguished career includes appearances with major symphony orchestras worldwide, recitals in the most celebrated concert halls, a variety of chamber music collaborations, the commissioning and performance of new music, and additions to his acclaimed discography on Sony BMG Masterworks. Ax captured public attention in 1974 when, at age 25, he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975, he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists and, four years later, took the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. An established recording artist for Sony Classical, Ax’s celebrated discography includes two Grammy awards. Recent performance highlights have included separate recital tours with two longstanding colleagues, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Yefim Bronfman; a tour of the Far East with recitals in Guangzhou, Beijing, Seoul, Hong Kong and Taipei; and a tour of the U.S. with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Myung-Whun Chung. Always a committed proponent of contemporary composers, Ax has turned his attention in recent years toward the music of contemporary composers, giving the world premiere of John Adams’ Century Rolls with the Cleveland Orchestra in 1997 and premiering Christopher Rouse’s Seeing (dedicated to him) in 1999 with the New York Philharmonic. Ax joined the Boston Symphony for the first performances of Bright Sheng’s Red Silk Dance, and in March 2003, he joined Yo-Yo Ma, David Zinman and the New York Philharmonic to premiere Sheng’s Song and Dance of Tears. Ax premiered Krzysztof Penderecki’s Resurrection with the Philadelphia Orchestra in May 2002, and in May 2003, he premiered a concerto written for him by Melinda Wagner, Extremity of Sky with Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony.

    YEFIM BRONFMAN is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his prestigious orchestral engagements, or his rapidly growing catalogue of recordings. Bronfman’s 2008/09 season highlights a duo recital tour with Emanuel Ax including performances at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall; and a solo recital tour traversing the U.S. and Europe and culminating in performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and in St. Petersburg. North American engagements include opening the 2008/09 season with the San Francisco Symphony and the New York Philharmonic, as well as performing with major orchestras across North America and Europe. He has worked with an equally illustrious group of conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov, Franz Welser-Möst and David Zinman. Summer engagements have regularly taken him to the Aspen, Bad Kissingen, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, Lucerne, Mann Music Center, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Saratoga, Tanglewood and Verbier festivals. In 1991, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists. Bronfman has won widespread praise for his solo, chamber and orchestral recordings. He won a Grammy in 1997 for his recording of the three Bartók Piano Concertos with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and his vast discography also includes additional Grammy nominations and critical praise. His most recent releases are Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, a recital disc, Perspectives, which complements Bronfman’s designation as a Carnegie Hall ‘Perspectives’ artist for the 2007/08 season, and recordings of all the Beethoven piano concerti as well as the Triple Concerto together with violinist Gil Shaham, cellist Truls Mørk, and the Tönhalle Orchestra Zürich under David Zinman for the Arte Nova/BMG label. Soon to be released is Salonen’s Piano Concerto, which Salonen wrote for Bronfman. A devoted chamber music performer, Bronfman has collaborated with the Emerson, Cleveland, Guarneri and Juilliard quartets, as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the U.S., he studied at the Juilliard School, Marlboro, and the Curtis Institute, and with Rudolf Firkus, Leon Fleisher and Rudolf Serkin.

    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.


    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2008, at 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    Colburn Celebrity Series

    EMANUEL AX, piano


    BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Haydn

    BOLCOM Recuerdos (Three Traditional Latin American Dances) for Two Pianos

    MOZART Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos, K.448

    RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

    This concert is generously sponsored by the Colburn Foundation.

    Media Sponsor: 89.3 KPCC

    Tickets ($17 - $92) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17), 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 12 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:

    Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034