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  • Conductor Christian Knapp Leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Romanian Pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa in Popular Tchaikovsky Spectacular With Fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Aug. 14, 2009
  • Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer and Tenor Sean Pannikar Perform Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Duet, in an All-Tchaikovsky Program


    August 14 Media Sponsor: Los Angeles Magazine; The August 15 Concert is Generously Sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards; August 15 Media Sponsor: KCET

    The annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular with Fireworks returns to the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the USC Trojan Marching Band and pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa led by conductor Christian Knapp, Friday and Saturday, August 14 and 15, at 8:30 p.m. This year’s spectacular features the great Russian composer’s beloved Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as the explosive 1812 Overture complete with roaring cannon and blazing pyrotechnics. The all-Tchaikovsky evening also features the Hollywood Bowl debuts of Knapp, Ursuleasa and soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer. Tenor Sean Pannikar also joins the program.

    The program opens with Battle of Poltava from Mazeppa, Tchaikovsky’s opera of obsessive love, oppression, revenge and murder, followed by Ursuleasa performing the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23. After intermission, music from Sleeping Beauty (The Lilac Fairy) precedes Harmer and Pannikar singing the Romeo and Juliet Duet (completed after Tchaikovsky’s death by his student Sergey Taneyev). The program closes with the rousing 1812 Overture featuring the USC Trojan Marching Band, directed by Arthur C. Bartner and the Hollywood Bowl’s spectacular fireworks show.

    Recognized as one of today's foremost young conductors, Christian Knapp is known for his dynamic stage presence and ability to inspire audiences and fellow musicians alike. He has performed in festivals and concerts throughout the world, conducting the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Civic Orchestra, among many others. He has collaborated with such renowned artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Itzhak Perlman, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Garrick Ohlsson, Vinson Cole, Cecile Licad and Pepe Romero, and many others.

    Born to musician parents, Miheala Ursuleasa began playing the piano with her father, also a pianist, at a very young age and is now regarded as a commanding pianist and incredible talent. California-born soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer is quickly developing a reputation for her enormous range and strong stage presence. Tenor Sean Pannikar last appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in 2007 under the baton of Leonard Slatkin in The Magic Flute.

    The USC Trojan Marching Band, which first performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, initially performed in the 1812 Overture finale in 1987 and has continued to do so each summer the work has been presented at the Bowl. In its long history, the band has performed for seven U.S. Presidents, at four Super Bowls, and at two Summer Olympic Games.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 42nd season. In January 2009, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fifth year in a row at the 20th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, AT 8:30 PM


    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood



    CHRISTIAN KNAPP, conductor


    WENDY BRYN HARMER, soprano

    SEAN PANIKKAR, tenor

    USC TROJAN MARCHING BAND, Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, director

    TCHAIKOVSKY Battle of Poltava from Mazeppa

    TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1

    TCHAIKOVSKY Introduction: The Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty

    TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet Duet

    TCHAIKOVSKY Overture 1812, Op. 49

    August 14 Media Sponsor: Los Angeles Magazine

    The August 15 concert is generously sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards

    August 15 Media Sponsor: 89.3 KCET

    Tickets ($1 - $96) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details or group sales. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.


  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; For photos: 213.972.3034