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  • WDCH
  • British Composer/Conductor Thomas Adès Leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Music by Berlioz and Philharmonic Premieres of Two of His Own Works
  • Nov. 14, 2008
  • Mezzo-Soprano Mary Nessinger Makes Her LA Phil debut with Special Appearance by the Los Angeles Master Chorale

    FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14 and 15, 2008, AT 8 PM
    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2008, AT 2 PM

    The Nov. 14 Concert is Generously Sponsored by UBS
    Nov. 14 Media Sponsor: Time Warner Cable

    British composer Thomas Adès returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program showcasing works by Berlioz as well as the first Philharmonic performances of two of his own works, Friday and Saturday, November 14 and 15, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 16, at 2 p.m. The program highlights the musical themes of hope and despair, and reflects Adès’ enthusiasm for French music.

    The concerts open with Berlioz, beginning with the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s participation in the composer’s arrangement of Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle’s Hymne des Marseillais, France’s national anthem, and “Royal Hunt and Storm,” the entr’acte before Act IV of his operatic masterpiece, Les Troyens (The Trojans). The epic poem continues as the LA Phil performs the Prelude to The Trojans at Carthage from the same opera and the Overture to Les francs-juges, an opera Berlioz never finished.

    Two works by Adès’ close the program: the first Los Angeles Philharmonic performances of America: A Prophecy and Tevot. Mezzo-soprano Mary Nessinger makes her LA Phil debut in America: A Prophecy, a lament for the Spanish conquest of the Mayans, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to provide “messages for the millennium.” A champion of contemporary works, Nessinger returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall on December 9, to join the Philharmonic in a LA Phil Green Umbrella series program.

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

    Renowned as both a composer and a performer, THOMAS ADÈS works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies and festivals. Appointed to the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer Chair at Carnegie Hall for 2007/08, he was featured as composer, conductor and pianist throughout that season. His recent activities include the world premiere of a new work, In Seven Days, at the Royal Festival Hall in London, an appearance at the 2008 BBC Proms with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and a production of Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House in London. Engagements in the 2008/09 season include a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Dutch premiere of In Seven Days with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic; his debut with the New World Symphony; a Wigmore Hall recital with cellist Steven Isserlis, and a series of recitals in the UK and U.S. with violinist Anthony Marwood. A number of international festivals have chosen to present special focuses on his music. Among these were Helsinki’s Musica Nova (1999), Salzburg Easter Festival (2004), Radio France’s Festival Présences (2007) and the Barbican’s ‘Traced Overhead’ (2007). Adès’ first opera Powder Her Face has been performed all round the world and was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD as well as an EMI CD. Most of the composer’s music has been recorded by EMI, with whom Adès has a contract as composer, pianist and conductor. Adès’ second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in February 2004, and revived in 2007. In September 2005, his violin concerto, Concentric Paths, was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under his baton. His second orchestral work for Simon Rattle, Tevot, (2007) was commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Carnegie Hall. Adès’ music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (in 2000, for Asyla), of which he is the youngest ever recipient. From 1999 to 2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.

    Mezzo-soprano MARY NESSINGER has been heard in concert, recital and opera throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has taken immense pleasure in performing some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most dynamic works, as well as her own astute interpretations of standard repertoire. Of recent performances, The New York Times has praised her “remarkable fluidity and beauty of tone,” and described her interpretive skills as “a tour de force of characterization.” The New Yorker has heralded her “exacting musicianship and quiet dignity (which) have made her a fixture of the New York scene.” Nessinger has been heard as a soloist in some of this country’s finest venues, including Carnegie, Alice Tully, Avery Fisher, and Merkin Halls; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston; and she has appeared internationally at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Kammermusiksaal der Philharmonie in Berlin, the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. In addition to works from the standard repertoire, Nessinger has devoted a large portion of her musical life to the performance of new music. She has enjoyed a close working relationship with some of contemporary music’s brightest and most innovative composers, including Lee Hyla, John Harbison, Haflidi Hallgrimsson, Harold Meltzer, David Del Tredici, Earl Kim, George Rochberg, Bernard Rands, George Crumb, Simon Bainbridge, Eric Moe, Sebastian Currier, Pia Gilbert and Anna Weesner. Nessinger obtained her Bachelor of Music degree, cum laude, at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, and afterwards studied at the Eastman School of Music with Seth McCoy and Jan DeGaetani and in New York with Chloe Owen. She has served on the voice faculty of Princeton University, and is currently a Lecturer in Voice at Vassar College. As a chamber musician Nessinger has collaborated with many fine artists, including Peter Serkin, Mitsuko Uchida, Robert Spano, Ida Kavafian, Fred Sherry, David Shifrin, Daniel Phillips, Peter Wiley and Martin Lovett. In her work with orchestra, Nessinger has been a soloist with the Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, and London Symphonies, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Her collaborative work has found her performing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New Millennium Ensemble, the Hebrides Ensemble (Scotland), the Brentano, Colorado, Pacifica, and Orion String Quartets, the Endellion String Quartet (London), and as a guest artist at the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival. She has participated in the Santa Fe, Chamber Music Northwest, Marlboro, Music from Angel Fire, Aspen, International Musicians Seminar Open Chamber Music, the Wellesley Composers Conference, Skaneateles, Music from Salem, Tannery Pond, Salt Bay Chamberfest, Kingston (RI), Crested Butte, Portland (Maine) Chamber Music, and New England Bach Festivals; and has toured under the auspices of “Musicians from Marlboro” and the International Musicians Seminar in England. Nessinger has recorded for the Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, CRI, New World, Naxos, Ondine, Mode, and Koch International labels, and is particularly proud of two recent releases of monodramas written specifically for her: Lee Hyla’s Lives of the Saints and Suma Beach on BMOP/Sound; and Eric Moe’s Tri-Stan on Koch International.

    The Grammy-nominated LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE is led by Music Director Grant Gershon, who also serves as associate conductor/chorus master of the LA Opera. The Chorale, currently celebrating its 45th season, is in its sixth season as the resident chorus at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Among other accolades, the chorus received the 2006 WQXR Gramophone Award for its 2005 Nonesuch Recording of Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations), and “Voices Within,” one of the Chorale’s highly successful outreach programs, earned the coveted Chorus America Education Outreach Award in 2008. Founded in 1964, the Chorale was the first organization in the nation to offer a complete season of great choral masterworks. In addition to presenting its own concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Chorale performs regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Chorale has recorded two other CDs under Gershon’s baton, including Daniel Variations by Steve Reich on Nonesuch Records, and an RCM recording featuring Esa-Pekka Salonen’s first choral work, Two Songs to Poems of Ann Jäderlund, and Itaipu, by Philip Glass. It previously released three CDs under the baton of Music Director Emeritus Paul Salamunovich on RCM, including the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna. The Chorale is also featured on the soundtracks of numerous major motion pictures, including Lady in the Water, License to Wed, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Waterworld.

    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.


    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008, AT 8 PM

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2008, AT 8 PM

    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2008, AT 2 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    THOMAS ADÈS, conductor

    MARY NESSINGER, mezzo-soprano


    ROUGET de LISLE/BERLIOZ Hymne des Marseillais

    BERLIOZ “Royal Hunt and Storm” (from Les Troyens)

    BERLIOZ Prelude to the Trojans at Carthage

    BERLIOZ Overture to Les francs-juges

    ADÈS America: A Prophecy

    ADÈS Tevot

    The Nov. 14 concert is generously supported by UBS.

    Nov. 14 media sponsor: Time Warner Cable

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

    Tickets ($42 - $147) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card by phone 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 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