By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
With strains of “The Mahler Project” receding into the
background and the Los Angeles Philharmonic heading to Caracas, Venezuela to
repeat the cycle there, the Phil has announced its 2012-2013 Walt Disney
Concert Hall season, a combination of continuing and new cycles that includes
an expanded emphasis on opera, appearances by two of the Phil’s former two
music directors, and fewer concerts conducted by its current music director,
The season begins with Dudamel leading a TBD gala concert on
Sept. 27. He then leads the first subscription concerts on Sept. 28, 29 and 30
with a program that includes a world premiere by Steven Stucky, Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante dfunte, and
Stravinsky’s Le sacre du primtemps (which
had its premiere on May 29, 2013). The Phil season runs through June 3, when
Spanish conductor Juango Mena makes his Disney Hall debut.
The schedule also sees the orchestra making its second
European tour under Dudamel, this one in mid-March, 2013 with performances in
London, Paris and Lucerne before a final stop at New York City’s Lincoln
Dudamel will be leading just 10 weeks of subscription
concerts next season, down from 14 this season (an unusually high number these
days for music directors) and 12 the season before. (Ten is also the number of subscription weeks that Riccardo Muti is leading the Chicago Symphony next season). With Dudamel, even 10 comes with an asterisk; the concerts on Oct. 4 and 5 include Norwegian pianist Leif Ove
Andsnes, who begins a three-year-cycle of Beethoven’s music for piano and
orchestra, by playing Beethoven’s first piano concerto, while the Oct. 6 and 7
concerts have him playing the third concerto. However, both concerts conclude
with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (Eroica).
Andsnes’ appearances are part of a three-year cycle when he is scheduled to
play all of Beethoven’s music for piano and orchestra.
In addition to the Phil subscription concerts, Dudamel will
also lead a “Green Umbrella” concert and a performance by The Colburn Orchestra
on the Phil’s “Sounds About Town” series. As usual, Dudamel’s concerts will be
wide-ranging. They include:
The Marriage of
Figaro, the second installment of
a three-year cycle of Mozart/DaPonte operas (the initial offering, Don Giovanni, takes place in May –
a multi-media version of Oliver Knussen’s one-act opera, Where the Wild Things Are, that will
fuse live images of performers with Maurice Sendak’s iconic artwork;
a staged version of John Adams’ new work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary. The
oratorio version will be given its world premiere May 31, June 1 and 2 to close
the current LAPO Disney Hall season. The staged version (directed by Peter
Sellars, who assembled the libretto) will be performed for the first times at
Disney Hall March 7, 8 and 10 and then taken on tour to Europe and New York
The quite-strong list of 19 guest conductors includes
appearances by Zubin Mehta, who was LAPO music director from 1962-1978, and
Esa-Pekka Salonen, who was at the helm from 1992-2009.
Mehta’s concerts December 13-16 will duplicate his inaugural
LAPO concerts as music director when he was age 26: Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, Hindemith’s Symphony: Mathis de Maler, and Dvorak’s
Symphony No. 7. Mehta will also lead the Israel Philharmonic (of which is
“Conductor for Life”) on October 30 in a program of Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and
Richard Strauss’ Burleske with Yuja
Wang as soloist.
Salonen will bring his Philharmonia Orchestra of London to
town on Nov. 13 for a concert performance of Berg’s opera Wozzeck (they will play a different program the next night at
Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County). Salonen will celebrate the 100th
anniversary of the birth of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski (which actually
takes place on Jan. 25, 2013) by leading LAPO concerts on Nov. 30-Dec. 2 that
include the composer’s Symphony No. 4 (which the LAPO premiered in 1993). The
concerts on Dec. 7, 8 and 9 will feature Salonen conducting the first West
Coast performances of his Nyx.
Lionel Bringuier, now the Phil’s resident conductor, will
lead a subscription week and a “Green Umbrella” concert. Other guest conductors
on the schedule are Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael
Frbeck de Burgos (the only guest besides Salonen to lead more than one week),
Daniel Harding, Pablo Heras-Casado, Susanna Mlkki, Ludovic Morlot, Gianandrea
Noseda (making his Phil debut), Vasily Pretrenko, David Robertson, Vassily
Sinaisky and Joshua Weilerstein.
The season includes nine commissions, seven world premieres,
three U.S. premieres and four West Coast first performances. Among the world
premieres will be a piece by Brooklyn composer Ted Hearne that will be part of
an effort sponsored jointly by the Phil and Brooklyn Philharmonic. Also on the
agenda for those programs is Aaron Copland’s Organ Concerto, with Cameron
Carpenter as soloist. Joshua Weilerstein, a former Dudamel Fellow and now
associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, will lead the performance. Carpenter
will also play a recital on the Phil’s organ series.
In addition to concerts by the Phil and other orchestras and
the “Green Umbrella series of five concerts, the season includes solo recitals,
chamber music, organ recitals, Baroque music (including a complete performance
of Handel’s Jeptha by the Handel and
Haydn Society, led by Harry Christophers), jazz, world music, “Songbook,” and
Christmas music offerings.
The complete 2012-2013 schedule (minus a few TBD’s) is
HERE. (There’s a print button at the top of the page).
If you want oodles of details, you can download the entire
media kit HERE. Make sure you have plenty of paper in your printer if you want
(c) Copyright 2012, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.