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19th Century Focus, More Travel on Tap for Philharmonic


The Los Angeles Philharmonic's 1996-97 winter season in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center will offer 27 weeks of concerts--10 of which will be conducted by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen--with a new emphasis on 19th century repertory, it was announced at a press conference Tuesday.

Running from Oct. 24 through June 1, 1997, the orchestra's 78th consecutive season is two weeks shorter than 1995-96 season due to tours by the orchestra.

Preceding the season, the Philharmonic will spend four weeks in Paris at the Thea^tre du Chatelet, where Salonen will lead it in six performances of a new production of Stravinsky's opera "The Rake's Progress," directed by Peter Sellars; two full-orchestra concerts; and three concerts by the Philharmonic's New Music Group. Pierre Boulez will also conduct the orchestra in one concert in Paris.

In January-February, the orchestra will play an eight-concert tour in Spain and the Canary Islands, to be conducted by the music director. And in May, 1997, Salonen will lead the ensemble in its now-annual East Coast tour, when it plays in New York and Washington, D.C.

At the Music Center, guest conductors Zubin Mehta, Roger Norrington and Valery Gergiev will each lead the orchestra for two-week engagements. Other returning podium guests include John Adams, Sian Edwards, Christoph Eschenbach, Eri Klas, Franz Welser-Most, Bobby McFerrin, Jeffrey Tate and Mark Wigglesworth. Making their Philharmonic conducting debuts are Jeffrey Kahane, Markus Stenz and Joseph Swensen.

The season begins with three performances (Oct. 24-27) of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," led by Salonen. It ends with four performances (May 29-31 and June 1, 1997) of a program including Mahler's Fifth Symphony, to be conducted by Eschenbach.

In between, the season includes a number of works from the 19th century repertory. Said Salonen, "In the past, we have contrasted more 18th century classical repertory with the music of the 20th century. However, the 19th century needs renewed attention as we approach the 21st century."

Some of that attention will fall, not only on Mahler, but also on Brahms (during the centenary of his death in 1897) and Schubert (the bicentenary of his birth in 1797), and on Bruckner, Wagner, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Berlioz, all of whom will be represented in this season.

Commented Philharmonic Managing Director Ernest Fleischmann: "We have a duty to the public to play a wide range of repertory. This is a very balanced season."

New works will also appear in the repertory, the world premieres of a Salonen piece--an untitled work that Fleischmann says is between 12 and 14 minutes in length--and "Harlequin," a concerto for bass trombone written by American composer Larry Lipkis for the Philharmonic's Jeffrey Reynolds. In addition, Emanuel Ax will play the West Coast premiere of Jacob Druckman's new Piano Concerto.

Soloists during the season will include sopranos Anne Evans and Jane Eaglen, mezzo-soprano Monica Groop, pianists Ax, Richard Goode, Imogen Cooper and Lars Vogt; violinists Saschko Gawriloff, Gidon Kremer, Pamela Frank and Viktoria Mullova; tenor Jorma Silvasti and bass-baritone Willard White.

The orchestra's Celebrity Recitals will include these series debutants: baritones Bryn Terfel and Thomas Hampson, guitarist John Williams, pianist Awadagin Pratt and violinist Vadim Repin. Returning are pianists Ax and Alicia de Larrocha, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and cellist Lynn Harrell.

Information: (213) 850-2000.

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