Hollywood Bowl Kicks Off 2013 Classical Season with Concert Led by Michael Tilson Thomas Tonight
The Los Angeles Philharmonic's classical season at the Hollywood Bowl opens with celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leading the orchestra in Mahler's Second Symphony ("Resurrection") with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and soprano Kiera Duffy and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, tonight, July 9, at 8 pm. Tilson Thomas continues the opening week of the Bowl classical season, leading one of the world's greatest violinists, Gil Shaham, in Sibelius' Violin Concerto, Thursday, July 11, at 8 pm.
Michael Tilson Thomas has long been renowned for his interpretation of Mahler and his 2004 recording of the Second Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony met with high praise. Their recently completEd Mahler recording cycle won seven Grammy Awards. The Second Symphony was last performed by the LA Phil in July of 2004 with then Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Despite its halting beginning - three soloists, nasty reviews and a major revision - Sibelius' Violin Concerto has become the most often recorded 20th-century concerto and a favorite of audiences and violinists. Thursday's program also features Rimsky-Korakov's Dubinushka and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.
Michael Tilson Thomas is Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. His recorded repertoire of more than 120 discs includes works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky as well as the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, John Adams, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin, and Elvis Costello. He recently finished recording the complete orchestral works of Gustav Mahler with the San Francisco Symphony. His 18-year tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony has been broadly covered by the international press with feature stories in Time, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London and The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung among many others. With the San Francisco Symphony he has made numerous tours of Europe, the United States and the Far East. Mr. Tilson Thomas is a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, was Musical America's Musician of the Year and Conductor of the Year, Gramophone Magazine's Artist of the Year and has been profiled on CBS's 60 Minutes and ABC's Nightline. He has won 13 Grammys for his recordings. In 2008 he received the Peabody Award for his radio series for SFS Media, The MTT Files. In 2010, President Obama awarded him with the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government.
American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for both her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in repertoire that encompasses Handel, Praetorius, Bach, and Mozart to the modern sounds of Berg, Carter, Glass, and Zorn. For the 2012/2013 season, Duffy made her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Flower Maiden in the new production of Parsifal under Daniele Gatti, which will also be an HD broadcast, and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. On the concert stage, she returned to the Atlanta Symphony under Donald Runnicles in Debussy's La damoiselle élue and New World Symphony in Mahler's 4th Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. She also debuted with the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig in Carmina Burana under Kristjan Järvi and recorded the same work for Sony Records. Ms. Duffy is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition from such esteemed organizations as the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Young Concert Artists International Competition.
American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke caused a sensation as Kitty Oppenheimer in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic, the DVD release of which won the 2012 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. She was praised in The New Yorker for her "fresh, vital portrayal, bringing a luminous tone, a generously supported musical line, a keen sense of verbal nuance, and a flair for seduction." The 2012/13 season marked her San Francisco Opera debut as the title role in the world premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, as well as her role debuts as Magnolia in Francesca Zambello's production ofShow Boat at Houston Grand Opera and as Sonja in Dominick Argento's The Aspern Papers at Dallas Opera. She returned to the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, gave the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas's Earth Echoes with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center both in New York and in Mecklenberg, Germany, and sang Mahler's Third Symphony with the Orchestre de Lyon. Last summer, Cooke opened the Hollywood Bowl's summer season in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Leonard Slatkin and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Giving a voice to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale is led by Music Director Grant Gershon. The New York Times calls the choir "inspired," and The New York Observerdeclares it "a superb vocal ensemble." The Chorale is currently in its 50th season as a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County and its 11th as the resident chorus at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Presenting its own concert series each season, it performs choral music from the earliest writings to the most recent contemporary compositions. To date, the choir has commissioned 39 and premiered 88 new works, of which 57 were world premieres, and has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America's prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. The Chorale has performed in more than 300 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and recently toured with the orchestra to Europe and New York City. It has also appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in leading venues throughout the Southland. Its discography includes five CDs under Gershon's baton. The latest, released in 2012 on Decca, features three works by Polish composer Henryk Górecki. LAMC previously released three CDs under Music Director Emeritus Paul Salamunovich on RCM, including the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna. The Chorale is also featured with Gershon on the soundtracks of such major motion pictures as Lady in the Water andLicense to Wed. Serving more than 30,000 audience members of all ages annually, the Los Angeles Master Chorale also provides education outreach to some 6,000 students each year.
Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time, whose combination of flawless technique with inimitable warmth and a generosity of spirit has solidified his legacy as an American master. He is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors, and he regularly gives recitals and ensemble appearances on the great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals. In the 2012/13 season, Shaham continued his long-term exploration of "Violin Concertos of the 1930s," a project beginning in 2010 and comprising performances at some of the most well-established concert venues with the world's greatest orchestras. "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" included the Barber, Berg, Stravinsky and Britten Violin Concertos, as well as the Bartok Violin Concerto No. 2 and the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2. Beyond "Violin Concertos of the 1930s," Shaham returned to other favorite repertoire in the 2012/13 season, including the Brahms concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The season also saw Shaham return to Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, bringing his unique approach to these beloved works with an eye towards releasing the complete set on CD in the coming seasons. In June, Shaham released "Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies" on his own label, Canary Classics, a new CD that celebrates the "soulful melodies" of their Jewish heritage featuring the violinist alongside his sister, pianist Orli Shaham.
Tuesday, July 9
MAHLER Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"
Thursday, July 11
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4
WHO: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 8 PM
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
KIERA DUFFY, soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE
Grant Gershon, music director
For full artists biographies, please visit hbowl.com/MTT
Thursday, July 11, 2013, 8 PM
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
GIL SHAHAM, violin
The concerts will take place at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif. Subscriptions and single tickets are available now for the Hollywood Bowl 2013 summer season at HollywoodBowl.com or Ticketmaster.com, or via phone at 323.850.2000 or 800.745.3000 and in person at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office. For more information, call 323.850.2000.