Los Angeles Master Chorale Launches 2009-10 Season with
Mozart Requiem and Los Angeles Premiere of John Adams’
Choruses from the Death of Klinghoffer
Conducted by Music Director Grant Gershon
Sunday, October 18, 2009, 7 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Celebratory Post-Concert Gala Caps Evening
The Los Angeles Master Chorale opens its 46th season with the pairing of the sublime Mozart Requiem and the Los Angeles premiere of John Adam’s Choruses from the Death of Klinghoffer, based on his 1991 opera about the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murder of passenger Leon Klinghoffer, on Sunday, October 18, 2009, 7:00 p.m., at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Music Director Grant Gershon conducts these two dramatically different but complementary works that both grapple with universal issues. Gershon joins KUSC’s Alan Chapman for “Listen Up!,” a pre-concert discussion at 6 p.m.
“I’m very excited about presenting these two works on the same program,” states Gershon. “Although Mozart’s work was written over 200 years ago, and John’s less than 20, they share a powerful operatic element and have extremely compelling back stories. They also serve to showcase the Chorale’s extraordinarily diverse artistic capabilities.”
Capping the evening is a post-concert gala held in BP Hall, featuring an elegant supper, dancing to the Dean Mora Trio and the Chorale’s signature Surround-Sing, in which singers encircle guests and perform selected works, creating a powerful and moving musical experience.
John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer, called by Newsweek a “work that fires the heart,” premiered in Brussels in 1991 in a Peter Sellars production during the final weeks of the Gulf War. Never before performed in Los Angeles, the opera tells the story of the 1984 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro by four Palestinian commandos and the subsequent murder of wheelchair-bound Jewish American passenger Leon Klinghoffer. The Choruses from The Death of Klinghoffer, approximately 30 minutes in length, serve to support and articulate the story, standing apart form the action and adding, in the composer’s words, “an important dramatic perspective to the more immediate and often violent emotional plane that framed the actual kidnapping story.” It is a choral meditation on the tragic events and their causes, and was librettist Alice Goodman’s second collaboration with Adams, preceded by the acclaimed opera Nixon in China.
Mozart’s Requiem, written in 1791, was the composer’s final composition. Gershon calls the masterpiece “one of the most beautiful and dramatic of all choral works.” Long shrouded in mystery, the Requiem, commissioned by an Austrian nobleman who originally took credit for the work, was unfinished at the time of the composer’s death. In this performance, the Master Chorale will present the completion of the work by the renowned pianist and musicologist Robert Levin.
Long-time Chorale supporter the Bank of New York Mellon is sponsoring the gala and concert. The concert is part of the 8th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international network of concerts using the power of music to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance and humanity.
Tickets to the concert range from $19 to $124. Student Rush seats are $10 and are available at the box office two hours before the performance. For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org. (Tickets can no longer be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.) The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.
# # #
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: Calendar Listing
Event: Los Angeles Master Chorale, 2009-10 Season Opening Concert & Gala
Grant Gershon, Conductor
Performance Date: Sunday, October 18, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
(Listen Up! pre-concert talk with Grant Gershon, composer John Adams and KUSC’s Alan Chapman, 6 p.m.)
Program: JOHN ADAMS Choruses from the Death of Klinghoffer
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Requiem
Venue: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ticket Prices: Concert Tickets: $19 – $124; Student Rush seats available at box office two hours before the performance
Gala Tickets: _$500 per person (includes seating at concert)_____
Ticket Information: 213-972-7282
(Tickets can no longer be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except
on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
The Grammy-nominated LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, currently celebrating its 46th Season, has been cited as a national leader for its innovative and dynamic programming. Los Angeles Times states the Chorale “has become the most exciting chorus in the country under Grant Gershon.” Since its founding in 1964, LAMC has presented more than 450 concerts, including choral music from the earliest writings to the most recent contemporary compositions. In 2003 the Chorale became one of two resident companies in Walt Disney Concert Hall, launching a period of incredible artistic and organizational growth. The Chorale has premiered 61 new works, 41 world premieres and 25 works commissioned by or through the LAMC ¬- and has recorded 6 CDs. The Chorale’s most recent recording with Gershon, Daniel Variations, was released on Nonesuch in spring 2008. LAMC performs a season of seven concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, plus two performances of the Messiah Sing-Along; and the family-friendly Holiday Wonders concert in December; and also performs regularly with the L.A. Philharmonic. The Los Angeles Master Chorale has more than 1,000 subscribers, serves over 40,000 audience members of all ages, and provides education outreach to approximately 13,000 children each year. In 2008,one of the Chorale’s highly successful outreach programs, “Voices Within,” earned the coveted Chorus America Education Outreach Award.
Los Angeles Master Chorale Music Director GRANT GERSHON is equally at home with symphonic and choral music, opera, and musical theater. He was named Music Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2001, and also serves as LA Opera Associate Conductor/Chorus Master. During his tenure with the Chorale, he has led over 60 programs at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Gershon has also expanded the choir’s repertoire considerably, conducting dozens of world, U.S., West Coast and Los Angeles premieres. His Nonesuch recording with the Chorale of Steve Reich’s You Are (Variations) was honored with the WQXR Gramophone America Award in 2006. The New York Times, Washington Post and Newsday, among others, selected it as one of the top ten classical recordings of 2005. In 2002 he made his first CD with the Master Chorale, featuring the world premiere recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s first choral work as well as Philip Glass’s ItaipÃº (RCM 12004). Gershon has also served as chorus master on two Grammy Award-nominated CD’s, Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic Special Editions) and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre (Sony Classical). He has appeared on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center leading the LA Master Chorale, and on the Making Music Series at Zankel Hall. Gershon conducted the Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s acclaimed opera The Grapes of Wrath, led subsequent performances of the work with the Utah Symphony and also conducted the cast recording released in 2008 on P.S. Classics. Last season he made his highly acclaimed Los Angeles Opera debut leading eight performances of Verdi’s La Traviata. Gershon received his bachelor of music degree cum laude in piano performance from USC, and currently serves on the USC Thornton School of Music Board of Councilors.
Artists, program and ticket prices subject to change.