February 8, 2012
Presented by the USC Thornton School of Music and the LA Phil, in partnership with The Colburn School and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, taking place March 9-18, 2012, will feature two American premieres and two West Coast premieres during the course of this outstanding 10-day event honoring the legacy of cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. The opening concert features the American premiere of Thomas Demenga's Double Concerto, Relations for two cellos, percussion and prepared piano, performed by the composer and his student Sayaka Selina with the Festival Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Wolff and made up of members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and young artists from the USC Thornton School of Music and The Colburn School. In addition, the Festival's March 14th master recital will present the American premiere of Miklós Perényi's Introduzione e Scherzo, continuing the tradition of great cellist/composers exemplified by Piatigorsky, and the March 16th recital with Thornton cellists will include the West Coast premiere of Brett Dean's Twelve Angry Men.

Other Festival highlights include the unique opportunity to hear the six solo suites of Bach performed together by six different cellists, and an evening of film and discussion celebrating the life and career of Gregor Piatigorsky enlivened by a panel that includes his grandson, Evan Drachman, and six of Piatigorsky's esteemed former students. Master Recital programs highlight an exciting diversity of works ranging from contemporary compositions to seldom performed masterpieces. Three of the Festival's concluding concerts, an LA Phil subscription series conducted by Neeme Järvi, showcase renowned soloists Ralph Kirshbaum, Mischa Maisky and Alisa Weilerstein performing Dvorák, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. The Festival's finale features over 100 cellists on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall for the West Coast premiere of Rapturedux by Christopher Rouse as well as a performance of Bach's Air on a G String.

As the Festival aims to honor one of the last century's greatest champions of the cello, the American Classical Music Hall of Fame has announced the induction of Gregor Piatigorsky to its class of 2011 in the "Performer" category. Honoring Piatigorsky as an outstanding performer, pedagogue and advocator of classical music, this acknowledgment expresses the very sentiment of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival. Piatigorsky brought his expertise to the world's most renowned stages, latterly accepting a teaching position at the University of Southern California after settling in Los Angeles, where he remained until his death. In recognition of his long and vibrant career, Gregor Piatigorsky receives this award posthumously and in the most serendipitous of circumstances as the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival reaches out to broaden the scope of the cello.

The world's most recognized and accomplished cellists will converge on Los Angeles to collaborate, perform and educate through a series of master classes, concerts and talks. 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition-winner Narek Hakhnazaryan will perform the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 1 in the Festival's opening concert, and Shostakovich's Sonata in D minor and Tchaikovsky's Pezzo Capriccioso in the Festival's March 10th Prelude Series in collaboration with pianist Rina Dokshitsky, who is on faculty at The Colburn School. International stars such as Mischa Maisky (the only student to have studied with Rostropovich and Piatigorsky), Steven Isserlis, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Jian Wang, Frans Helmerson and Antonio Lysy also take the helm of numerous events to perform and offer each artist's unique instruction and approach to musicianship to the 45 master class students who come to the Festival from some of the finest conservatories and music schools in the world.

Bringing together four prestigious Los Angeles musical organizations, the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival aims to highlight and bring awareness to the cello against the backdrop of one of the most culturally vibrant metropolitan areas in the United States.

Thomas Demenga • Evan Drachman • Narek Hakhnazaryan • Frans Helmerson • Gary Hoffman • Steven Isserlis • Terry King • Ralph Kirshbaum • Ronald Leonard • Laurence Lesser • Antonio Lysy • Mischa Maisky • Miklós Perényi •
Jean-Guihen Queyras • Nathaniel Rosen • Sayaka Selina • Andrew Shulman • Jeffrey Solow • Peter Stumpf • Raphael Wallfisch • Jian Wang • Alisa Weilerstein • Members of the L.A. Cello Society (Victor Sazer, president)

Ayke Agus • Bernadene Blaha • Rina Dokshitsky • Kevin Fitz-Gerald • Jeffrey Kahane •Antoinette Perry • Connie Shih • Robert Thies

John Rubinstein - Narrator
Tim Page - Music Critic

Neeme Järvi • Courtney Lewis • Hugh Wolff

CLICK HERE for Festival Passes.
CLICK HERE for Festival Website.

To view the full schedule of events, please click here

Click here for a video messege from Ralph Kirshbaum

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