L.A. Phil announces 2010-11 season World premieres and familiar faces (Esa-Pekka Salonen) are on the schedule.

By MARK SWED

Music Critic

February 17, 2010

“This is where we can make a difference, by not relenting,” Deborah Borda, the L.A. Philharmonic president, said recently. “And Gustavo has been the spirit behind everything.” She also noted that ticket sales have remained high, with Dudamel’s concerts regularly selling out and that the organization averages around 92% capacity for the more than 150 concerts it presents each season at Disney Hall.

Dudamel, taking part in the press conference via video from Caracas, Venezuela, is inevitably the season’s center of attention. His opening-night gala will feature Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez. The big work of his two fall subscription concerts will be Olivier Messiaen’s massively ecstatic “Turangalila” Symphony.

Dudamel will begin 2011 with performances of Beethoven’s Seventh and Mahler’s Ninth symphonies, which he will then take on his first European tour with the Philharmonic, a 16-day trip to Portugal, Spain, Germany, England, France, Hungary and Austria. Also included on the tour program will be Leonard Bernstein’s First Symphony (“Jeremiah”) with mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and John Adams’ “Slonimsky’s Earbox.”

Dudamel will return in March to conduct Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony and a program of Tchaikovsky’s Shakespeare-inspired scores. Throughout May and in early June, he will continue the “unbound” series, which Salonen began to place classical composers in 21st century contexts, with “Brahms Unbound.”

Saying on the press conference video that “music is not about moments, music is about eternity,” Dudamel will pair Brahms’ four symphonies with, respectively, the world or U.S. premieres: of Osvaldo Golijov’s Violin Concerto (written for Leonidas Kavakos), Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Glorious Percussion,” Peter Lieberson’s Percussion Concerto (with Pedro Carneiro as soloist) and Henryk Górecki’s Fourth Symphony. Steve Mackay’s “Beautiful Passing” will complement Brahms’ “A German Requiem.”

Salonen’s first appearances as conductor laureate after his 17 years as music director, will begin Nov. 20 with the U.S. premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s “Graffiti” on a program with Bartók’s only opera, “Bluebeard’s Castle.” The following week Salonen will conduct scenes from Wagner with Welsh baritone Byrn Terfel. This unlikely collaboration came about, Salonen said, when he ran into Terfel at a soccer match in the Welsh capital of Cardiff. Terfel figured Salonen (whose wife, Jane, is Welsh) must be OK and decided then and there they should work together.

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