Helmuth Rilling Conducts LA Chamber Orchestra in Mozart Program
Internationally acclaimed Grammy Award-winning conductor Helmuth Rilling, recipient of the 2011 Herbert von Karajan Music Prize, makes his 13th appearance with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to guest conduct two performances of Mozart's sublime Requiem in D minor, K. 626, featuring soprano Stacey Tappan, alto Callista Hoffman, tenor Nicholas Phan, bass Michael Dean and the acclaimed USC Thornton Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jo Michael Scheibe, on Saturday, January 26, 8 pm, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, and Sunday, January 27, 2013, 7 pm, at UCLA's Royce Hall. The all-Mozart program, which celebrates the legendary composer's 257th birthday, opens with his majestic Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major, K. 543.
Concert Preludes, pre-concert talks held one hour before curtain and free for ticket holders, provide insights into the music and artists. Ticket holders can also meet LACO musicians immediately following the concerts at free after-parties, which feature appetizers and drinks in the lobby.
Rilling, renowned as a great pedagogue as well as a conductor, founded the Bach Collegium Stuttgart and has served as music director of the Oregon Bach Festival since 1970. Through these musical affiliations and others as well as through his vast body of recordings and countless guest performances around the globe, Rilling has made a striking and indelible impact on the classical music field. He fervently believes that "music should startle people and reach deep down inside them."
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is considered one of the world's premier chamber orchestras as well as a leader in presenting wide-ranging repertoire and adventurous commissions. Its 2012-13 season, the Orchestra's 44th, features a compelling mix of beloved masterpieces and genre-defying premieres from firmly established and notable up-and-coming composers programmed by Jeffrey Kahane, one of the world's foremost conductors and pianists, who marks his 16th season as LACO's music director.
Tickets ($25 - $110) are on sale now and may be purchased online at laco.org, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and groups of 12 or more. College students may purchase rush tickets one hour before curtain; also available for college students is the $25 "Campus to Concert Hall All Access Pass" - good for all seven of LACO's Orchestral Series concerts at either the Alex Theatre or UCLA's Royce Hall, LACO's Discover Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 at Ambassador Auditorium and for all three Westside Connections concerts at The Broad Stage, plus other benefits. Student rush tickets ($10), based on availability, may be purchased at the box office the day of the concert.
HELMUTH RILLING is active as a conductor, pedagogue and an ambassador for the music of JS Bach worldwide. In 1954, he founded the Gächinger Kantorei and in 1965, the Bach Collegium Stuttgart. Additionally, Rilling is an advocate of "neglected" Romantic choral music, and of commissioning and performing contemporary choral music. In 1981, Rilling founded the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart dedicated to furthering the music of Bach through public concerts, master classes for singers and conductors, symposia and residencies all over the world. He is active on the international concert podium, performing regularly throughout Europe, US and Canada. 2011 included his first tour of China with the Gächinger Kantorei and the Bach Collegium Stuttgart. He has a special friendship dating back some 30 years with the Israel Philharmonic, and has been the artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival since 1970. Among the many prizes Helmuth Rilling has received are the UNESCO International Music Prize (1994) and the Theodor Heuss Prize (1995). Most recently, Rilling was awarded the prestigious Herbert von Karajan Music Prize from the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in 2011.
Soprano STACEY TAPPAN has distinguished herself as an exceptional musical artist. Reviews praise her "witty and sexy" performances and she is hailed as a "tremendous American soprano" and "a magnificent discovery." Current engagements for Tappan include Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera and Clorinda in La cenerentola with LA Opera. Recent appearances have included Miss Wordsworth in LA Opera's Albert Herring and Krenek's Das Geheime Königreich with James Conlon; singing Wing on Wing, composed and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen with the LA Philharmonic; the Charmeuse in Thaïs at the Edinburgh Festival; the Ring Cycle with San Francisco Opera; and performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Mahler's Fourth Symphony and his "Symphony of a Thousand" at the Hollywood Bowl. Tappan made her professional debut with Houston Grand Opera as Beth in Little Women, broadcast on PBS' Great Performances and released on CD by Ondine and on DVD by Naxos. Her awards include grants from the Elardo Competition and the Solti Foundation US, as well as scholarships from Wolf Trap Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.
Mezzo-soprano CALLISTA HOFFMAN hails from Pennsylvania. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated as part of the music honors program, and received an MA at the University of Southern California. She received the USC Thornton Opera, USC Thornton Music Outreach, USC Thornton Outstanding Graduate and 2011 Sigma Alpha Iota Scholarship awards as well as honorable mention in the 2011 Whittier Society for Singers Competition. She performed the roles of Florence in Thornton Opera's production of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring and Oberon in his A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ramiro in Mozart's La finta giardiniera, Siebel in Gounod's Faust and Anybodys in West Side Story at the Aspen Summer Music Festival. This year marks her second season with the Los Angeles Master Chorale as member and soloist. Hoffman has performed the alto solos in the Pergolesi Stabat Mater with the Enlightenment Chamber Music Group, Handel's Messiah with LACO and Horizon Music Group, Bach's St. John Passion and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass.
NICHOLAS PHAN continues to distinguish himself as one of the most compelling young tenors appearing on the prestigious concert and opera stages of the world. He has appeared with many of the leading orchestras in the United States and Great Britain, including the BBC, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta and St. Louis symphonies; St. Paul and English chamber orchestras; and The Philadelphia Orchestra. An avid proponent of vocal chamber music, he has collaborated with pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Cecile Licad and Jennifer Montone, principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra. A rising young star of the opera world, Phan recently performed with the Seattle, Glyndebourne, New York City, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Houston Grand and Glimmerglass operas; Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf; Opéra de Lille; and Chicago Opera Theater. Last fall, he released his first solo album Winter Words. His discography includes a GRAMMY-nominated recording of Stravinksy's Pulcinella with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO Resound).
American bass-baritone MICHAEL DEAN is in demand worldwide in both concert and operatic repertoire, appearing with many of the leading opera houses and orchestras of the US and Europe. The New York Times lauded his "strong appealing bass-baritone," while the San Jose Mercury News considered him "the standout, his voice a penetrating wake-up call." He has made frequent appearances at New York City Opera, where he has performed the title role in The Marriage of Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, George in Of Mice and Men, and Papageno in The Magic Flute. Recent appearances have also included Jason McFarlane in Lizzie Borden for a "Live From Lincoln Center" broadcast; the title role in Don Giovanni and Silva in Ernani at the Landestheater in Linz, Austria; Figaro in Antwerp, Belgium, Of Mice and Men at Arizona Opera, and Colline in La bohème in Strasbourg and Berlin. Dean has also received critical praise for his numerous recordings of Baroque opera. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with LA Opera, Nashville Symphony, I Musici de Montreal, the Modesto Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic. Dean has previously appeared with the Pacific Symphony, the Calgary and Louisiana philharmonics, the Richmond Symphony, Mexico's Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, among others. He recently made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in the world premiere of Aaron Kernis' Garden of Light, conducted by Kurt Masur. Dean is a member of the Voice Faculty of UCLA.
The USC THORNTON CHAMBER SINGERS is the premier choral ensemble at the USC Thornton School of Music and is directed by Jo-Michael Scheibe, chair of USC Thornton's department of Choral and Sacred Music. The Chamber Singers, in conjunction with the USC Thornton Concert Choir, has performed in recent years with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The ensemble perform regularly in concert halls around the country and around the world, including tours to South Korea in 1994, Poland in 1997 and China in 2006. Among numerous highlights, during the 2010-11 academic year, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers were featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and at the Shoah Foundation Gala, where they performed with Grammy and Academy-Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson. In January 2009, Dale Warland led the group in a concert titled Choral Music as an Agent of Social Change, and in February 2011, Robert Reynolds directed the West Coast premiere of Heinz Werner Henze's Muses of Sicily. In November 2009, the Chamber Singers joined the USC Thornton Concert Choir and USC Thornton Symphony for a performance of Bach's Mass in B minor under the direction of Helmuth Rilling. In October 2009, members of the Chambers Singers and Concert Choir joined Andrea Bocelli in his performance and DVD Recording of My Christmas for PBS. The mixed-voice ensemble gave the keynote performance at the 2005 national conference of the American Choral Directors Association at Walt Disney Concert Hall. In 2002, the Chamber Singers won the Grand Prix of a prestigious international choral competition in Tours, France.
LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (LACO), proclaimed "America's finest chamber orchestra" by Public Radio International, has established itself among the world's top musical ensembles. Since 1997, LACO has performed under acclaimed conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, hailed by critics as "visionary" and "a conductor of uncommon intellect, insight and musical integrity." Under Kahane's leadership, the Orchestra maintains its status as a preeminent interpreter of historical masterworks and a champion of contemporary composers. During its 44-year history, the Orchestra has made 30 recordings, toured Europe, South America and Japan, performed across North America and garnered seven ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. LACO presents its Orchestral Series at both the Alex Theatre and Royce Hall, Baroque Conversations at Zipper Hall, Westside Connections chamber music series at The Broad Stage, and an annual Discover concert at Ambassador Auditorium. LACO also presents a Concert Gala, an annual Silent Film screening and several fundraising salons each year. Additionally, LACO's outreach programs Meet the Music, Community Partners, Campus to Concert Hall and the LACO/USC Thornton Strings Mentorship Program reach thousands of young people annually.