The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Presents Persian Treasure
October 22, 2007
THE LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PRESENTS
FEATURING ACCLAIMED PERSIAN NEY VIRTUOSO
SATURDAY, NOV. 3 AT 8 PM (ALEX THEATRE)
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and music director Jeffrey Kahane welcome esteemed Persian ney virtuoso Khosrow Soltani on Saturday, November 3 at 8 pm at the Alex Theatre in Glendale and Sunday, November 4 at 7 pm at Royce Hall at UCLA. The program begins with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 in D major, “Classical,” Op. 25 (1917) and continues with the West Coast premiere of Persian composer Reza Vali’s concerto for the Persian ney, Toward that Endless Plain. Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 in D major, “Reformation,” Op. 107 (1832) concludes the evening.
Known as the “Classical” symphony, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 stands as one of the definitive pieces of the neoclassical movement. The first work he composed away from the piano, and perhaps one of the composer’s best-known, the piece reached completion just one month before Russia’s tumultuous and regime-toppling October Revolution. An admirer of 18th century styles and formats, Prokofiev sought to emulate Haydn, while integrating modern harmonic and rhythmic textures in an ironic and satirical manner. The result is a rambunctious and elegant masterpiece that has gone on to influence the works of countless other composers.
One of the newest works by Iranian-born composer Reza Vali, Toward that Endless Plain brilliantly integrates ethnic folk music and Western classical forms. An accomplished composer and professor of music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Vali composed his concerto for Persian ney, a co-commission of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, in 2005. According to Vali, this complex composition is distinctly post-9/11 in its exploration of the interaction of East and West, which can often be violent. In this composition, the voice of the ney acts as protagonist as it tries to escape from the violence in order to find peace. ”[Using] the orchestra…interactively as a part of a scenario based on a Persian mystical poem…The piece is resourcefully made and compelling in effect,” writes The Boston Globe (2006).
A Persian-ney master, as well as a world-class bassoonist, Khosrow Soltani began his career with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in the early 1970s before relocating to Vienna in 1974 to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst with Karl Oelberger. He has been a member of Les Menestrels, a Viennese ensemble of early music, since 1976 and recorded and toured the United States and Canada with the Clemencic Consort and Musica Antiqua Wien. Soltani began performing the Persian ney, a cane or wooden flute of ancient Middle Eastern origins with a performance tradition of nearly 5,000 years, in 1979. He has since performed the instrument in numerous ensembles, including Shiraz, an ensemble that specializes in Persian music, that he founded in 1984.
The program closes with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 in D major, “Reformation,” Op. 107 (1832). Composed in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Lutheran Church, the four-movement piece was considered a failure by Mendelssohn himself and remained unpublished until twenty years after his death. Today, it is highly regarded as a deeply spiritual selection from Mendelssohn’s oeuvre, heavily referencing church motifs and melodies.
Concert Preludes, scheduled one hour prior to the concerts, feature Reza Vali in conversation about his compositions and are free for all ticket holders.
Tickets ($17 to $79) are on sale now and may be purchased online at laco.org, by calling the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at 213 622 7001×215, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for students, seniors 65 years of age and older, and groups of 12 or more.
Renowned as a pianist and conductor, Jeffrey Kahane is recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of diverse repertoire from Bach to Gershwin. He has established a reputation as a truly versatile artist equally sought after as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. This year, Kahane enters his 11th season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and continues his successful tenure as music director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Under his leadership, both ensembles received 2007 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming. He also continues as artistic director of the Green Music Festival in Sonoma County.
Khosrow Soltani was born in Tehran and has been living in Austria since 1974. He studied in Tehran’s conservatory and finished his degree as a bassoonist in 1971. From 1971 to 1974, he played bassoon as a regular member of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra. In October 1974, he began his bassoon studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria with Karl Oelberger. He finished his degree with honors three years later. He has been a member of Les Menestrels, a Viennese ensemble of early music, since 1976. He has also recorded and toured the United States and Canada with the Clemencic Consort and Musica Antiqua Wien. He studied recorder with Hans Maria Kneihs, finishing his degree in 1984. Soltani began performing the Persian ney in 1979 and has performed the ney in many different ensembles. In 1984, he founded Shiraz, an ensemble for Persian music, with which he has played many concerts at various European festivals. In addition, he has recorded for the WDR, the NDR, and Franc Musiq, among others. Also a composer, Soltani’s Ancient cal a new, Great Mahur, and Salut del amore are available on commercial CDs.
Reza Vali was born in Ghazvin, Persia (Iran) in 1952. He began his music studies at the Conservatory of Music in Tehran. In 1972 he went to Austria and studied music education and composition at the Academy of Music in Vienna. After graduating from the Academy of Music, he moved to the United States and continued his studies at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving his Ph.D. in music theory and composition in 1985. Mr. Vali has been a faculty member of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University since 1988. He has received numerous awards and commissions, including the honor prize of the Austrian Ministry of Arts and Sciences, two Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships, commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, the Seattle Chamber Players and the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, as well as grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as the Outstanding Emerging Artist for which he received the Creative Achievement Award. Mr. Vali’s orchestral compositions have been performed in the United States by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra 2001. His chamber works have received performances by Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, the Seattle Chamber Players and the Da Capo Chamber Players. His music has been performed in Europe, Chile, Mexico, Hong Kong and Australia, and is recorded on the Naxos, New Albion, MMC, Ambassador, Albany and ABC Classics labels.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 7:00 PM
TICKET PRICES: $17, $29, $48, $69, $79. (Subject to availability, discounts offered for students, seniors, and groups of 12 or more.)
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets available online at www.laco.org or by phone 213 622 7001×215 or by fax 213 955 2071. Tickets on sale at the theatre box office the night of the concert, if available.