By Robert D. Thomas
Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News
This article was first published today in the above papers.
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus; American Youth Symphony
James Conlon, Anne Tomlinson, Alexander Treger, conductors
Music by Vaughan Williams, Britten, Beam and Wilcocks
The Isle is full of noises by Daniel Bjarnason (world premiere)
Today at 7:30 p.m. • Walt Disney Concert Hall. Preconcert lecture at 6:30 p.m.
There are several reasons to consider attending this evening’s program by the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and American Youth Symphony at 7:30 p.m. in Walt Disney Concert Hall, part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s “Sounds About Town” series.
First (and most important) it’s a concert that combines two of the Southland’s major youth-oriented organizations. Now in its second quarter century, the Pasadena-based Los Angeles Children’s Chorus is one of the world’s premiere children’s choirs whose singers regularly perform with such groups as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Opera. From the time it was founded, in 1964 by conductor Mehli Mehta (father of Zubin), the American Youth Symphony has trained thousands of orchestral musicians, many of whom now play in major orchestras throughout the U.S.
Second, the Shakespeare-themed program will see the conductors of both ensembles on the podium (albeit at different times), along with Los Angeles Opera Music Director James Conlon, who will lead both ensembles in the world premiere of Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason’s The isle is full of noises, a three-movement work based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
The concert will conclude a very busy weekend for Conlon. Last night he led a performance of Britten’s Albert Herring and this afternoon he conducts Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, both for L.A. Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It will also be a busy day at Disney Hall, as the L.A. Phil and guest conductor Pablo Hereas-Casado conclude their weekend series with a program that includes the west coast premiere of James Matheson’s Violin Concerto, along with Richard Strauss’ tone poem, Ein Heldenleben.
Anne Tomlinson, LACC artistic director, will lead the opening half of the Sunday evening program, conducting the choir in Sigh no more ladies and Orpheus with his lute by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Benjamin Britten’s Fancie; and Douglas Beam’s Spirits. Tomlinson will conclude the first half by conducting both ensembles in David Wilcocks’ The Glories of Shakespeare.
After intermission and before the Bjornason work, Alexander Treger, AYS music director, will lead his ensemble in a suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
A third reason to attend is that the “Sounds About Town” series provides people with an inexpensive way to see a concert in the Disney Hall auditorium. Tickets for this concert range from $20.75 to $45, far less than you would pay for an L.A. Phil concert, so if you’ve never been inside Disney Hall, this is a great opportunity. Since the two ensembles will undoubtedly have lots of relatives in attendance, check with the box office before you make the trip downtown. Information: 323/850-2000; www.laphil.com
(c) Copyright 2012, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.
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