Second Piatigorsky International Cello Festival Draws Near

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Mayor Eric Garcetti Champions
Piatigorsky International Cello Festival

Artists, Students, and Concertgoers Worldwide Come Together to Celebrate the Cello

World Premiere of New Anna Clyne Work Scored for Over 100 Cellos, Many Concerts to Feature Works of the Last 50 Years

Antonio Lysy’s Multimedia Performance Te Amo, Argentina features Attacca String Quartet and Tango Dancers

Guest Ensembles Include Emerson and Calder String Quartets in their Festival Debuts

All-Cello Quintet SAKURA

Rare Gregor Piatigorsky Archives Housed at Colburn School to be Displayed at USC Thornton School of Music

Exhibit Hall to Feature Instrument Makers, Dealers, and Suppliers

Click Image for Festival Trailer

 March 16, 2016
The city of Los Angeles has begun to anticipate the scores of artists, students, and classical music lovers who will gather together for the second Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, emerging as one of the most important music festivals in North America, taking place May 13-22.  “World-class music is at the heart of L.A.’s identity, and we are proud to host the 2016 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.  “This unique cultural event showcases the creative vibrancy of some of our most important and respected musical institutions – and we can’t wait to welcome incredible artists from around the world to share their gifts with us.”  In 2012, the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival was proclaimed “Cello Week” by the City of Los Angeles.  Artistic Director Ralph Kirshbaum states: “Having directed 11 International Cello Festivals over a span of 25 years, I never cease to be amazed, touched, and inspired by the artistry and generosity of spirit exhibited by my remarkable colleagues. With their rich and varied musical palette, they breathe life into every event, creating for aficionados and amateurs alike an unforgettable cultural experience.”

Pictured: Ralph Kirshbaum, Artistic Director
Photo Credit: Steve Cohn

Bringing together three prestigious Los Angeles musical organizations—the USC Thornton School of Music, the LA Phil and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra—the 2016 Piatigorsky Festival aims to highlight the cello against the backdrop of one of the most culturally innovative metropolitan areas in the United States.  The Festival showcases 26 international artists representing 14 countries and 4 continents, and unveiling an enormous range of repertoire during the course of this outstanding 10-day event. The Festival’s roster includes some of the world’s most celebrated cellists – Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Truls Mørk, Jean-Guihen Queyras, David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Colin Carr, Sol Gabetta, Giovanni Sollima, Raphael Wallfisch and Artistic Director Ralph Kirshbaum, among others – some of whom directly studied under Gregor Piatigorsky, the festival’s namesake.

In addition to the exceptional roster of diverse international artists participating in this year’s festival, the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival Fellows also represent a compendium of cultures and musical traditions.  Young cellists from 15 countries, 4 continents and across 10 US states in the early stages of their careers are selected based on recommendations from teachers and artists to participate in masterclasses and to perform in the mass cello ensemble. Music lovers and cello aficionados from around the world are eagerly buying all-festival passes and single tickets, both of which are now available for purchase.

The Piatigorsky Archives at the Colburn School contain possessions of the late cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, including correspondence, orchestral scores, original manuscripts, concert programs, clippings, recordings, films, books, and ephemera. After his death in 1976, this wealth of informative material was left gathering dust at the Brentwood home Piatigorsky shared with his wife, Jacqueline. Following her death in 2012, Piatigorsky’s personal collection came to the Colburn School.  A small team of archivists, led by project director Carol Merrill-Mirsky, has worked to properly preserve the hundreds of boxes of materials, creating a comprehensive inventory and digital catalog containing thousands of items. Material from the archives will be available for the public to browse online in late spring of 2016, and a selection of these artifacts will be on display in USC’s Alfred Newman Recital Hall during the festival in celebration of the revered cellist.

Photo Credit: Mathew Imaging

The Gala Opening Concert at USC on Sunday, May 15 at 4:30pm features the multidisciplinary piece produced by cellist Antonio Lysy, Te Amo, Argentina.  The performance includes solo and chamber pieces, film, spoken word, and tango dancers, paying homage to the rich and diverse musical heritage of Argentina.  Son of the late Argentine violinist Alberto Lysy, Mr. Lysy uses autobiographical information as the inspiration for Te Amo, Argentina.  The Colburn Celebrity Recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 17 features works written and arranged for a mass cello ensemble of over 100 cellists.  This ensemble gives the world premiere of Threads & Traces written by Grammy-nominated British composer Anna Clyne, as well as a performance of the popular Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos.  Representing the wealth of contemporary classical music written for the cello in the past fifty years,  ten pieces are featured on various concerts throughout the Festival.  Among these works are Anne Wilson’s Lament, In Memory of Matthew Sheperd written following the tragedy that took place near Laramie, Wyoming in 1998; Brett Dean’s Twelve Angry Men, which musically depicts the twelve jurors in the 1957 film of the same name by Sidney Lumet; an Improvisation by one the Festival’s artists, Giovanni Sollima; and the West Coast premiere of La Suite del Ocells by Lera Auerbach.

The 2016 Festival also includes an abundance of chamber music featuring the cello.  The Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet (University of Southern California alumni) performs cello quintets on three Quintet+ concerts, for which they are joined by Giovanni Sollima (Monday, May 16), Antonio Lysy (Wednesday, May 18), and Frans Helmerson (Friday, May 20).  The globally-renowned Emerson String Quartet come together with Artistic Director Ralph Kirshbaum at Walt Disney Concert Hall for a performance of Schubert’s great Cello Quintet on May 17.  New York City’s Attacca Quartet joins Antonio Lysy in Te Amo, Argentina on May 15.

The “unique” and “brilliant” (Los Angeles Times) SAKURA is featured in several performances during the 2016 Festival.  The recently-formed quintet of cellists met at USC Thornton as students under the tutelage of Ralph Kirshbaum, and since have begun to establish their place in the classical music world with vivacious musical energy, carefully curating eclectic programs and often giving “pop-up” concerts around the University and Los Angeles, serving as ambassadors of the 2016 Festival and their alma mater. SAKURA is named in honor of their mentor: 桜 sakura (Japanese) and Kirschbaum (German), both meaning “cherry tree.”  Watch SAKURA give a pop-up concert at USC’s Dauterive Hall.

Committed to providing a well-rounded experience for Festival participants, cellists and guests will have the opportunity to connect with stringed instrument makers, dealers, and accessory providers in a “marketplace” exhibit hall the final weekend of the Festival.  Located in the Town and Gown Ballroom on USC’s campus next door to the Alfred Newman Recital Hall, vendors will be able to display and sell merchandise Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21 from 11am-7pm and Sunday, May 22 from 12pm-6pm.


Friday, May 13, 2016

LA Phil Concert
8:00 PM | Walt Disney Concert Hall
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Ralph Kirshbaum

Bloch: Schelomo
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Saturday, May 14, 2016

LA Phil Concert
8:00 PM | Walt Disney Concert Hall
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Truls Mørk

Rossini: William Tell Overture
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Sunday, May 15, 2016

LA Phil Concert
2:00 PM | Walt Disney Concert Hall
Leonard Slatkin, conductor
Sol Gabetta

Rossini: William Tell Overture
Martinů: Cello Concerto No. 1 (1955 version)
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Gala Opening Concert – University of Southern California
4:30 PM | Bovard Auditorium
Jens Peter Maintz
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
Giovanni Sollima
Antonio Lysy/Attacca Quartet/Tango Dancers

Haydn: Duo (Maintz and Schmidt)
Servais: Caprice sur des motifs de l’opéra Le Comte Ory, Op. 3 (Maintz and Schmidt)
Paganini: Moses Variations (Maintz and Schmidt)
Sollima: Improvisation (Sollima)
and: Te Amo, Argentina (Lysy and Attacca Quartet)

Colburn Celebrity Recital
7:30 PM | Walt Disney Concert Hall
Yo-Yo Ma, with Kathryn Stott, piano

Programming to be announced

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lunch Series Concert
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Robert deMaine

Hindemith: Solo Sonata, Op. 25, No. 3
Cassadó: Suite
deMaine: Etudes-Caprices Nos. 2, 4, 3, 11, 12

Master Class with Raphael Wallfisch
3:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Internationally lauded English cellist Raphael Wallfisch presents a master class.

Quintet+ Concert
6:30 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Ronald Leonard, with Bernadene Blaha, piano
Calder Quartet/Giovanni Sollima

Bizet: Carmen Fantasy (arr. Werner Thomas-Mifune after Georges Bizet) (SAKURA)
Boccherini: Adagio and Allegro (Leonard and Blaha)
Barber: Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, Op. 6 (Leonard and Blaha)
Boccherini: String Quintet in C Major, Op. 28, No. 4 (Calder Quartet and Sollima)

Evening Recital
8:00 PM | Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Frans Helmerson, with Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano
Truls Mørk, with Bernadene Blaha, piano

Debussy: Sonate (Helmerson and Fitz-Gerald)
Rachmaninoff: Sonata (Helmerson and Fitz-Gerald)
Grieg: Intermezzo in A Minor (Mørk and Blaha)
Sibelius: Romance, Op. 78, No. 2 (Mørk and Blaha)
Sibelius: Religioso, Op. 78, No. 3 (Mørk and Blaha)
Grieg: Sonata in A Minor (Mørk and Blaha)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Master Class with Jens Peter Maintz
10:00 AM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Jens Peter Maintz, renowned German cellist, leads a master class.

Master Class with Truls Mørk
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Distinguished Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk, awarded the 2010 Sibelius Prize, leads a master class.

Colburn Celebrity Recital
8:00 PM | Walt Disney Concert Hall
Emerson Quartet/Ralph Kirshbaum
SAKURA and Guests
Mass Cello Ensemble/Matthew Aucoin, conductor

Schubert: String Quintet in C Major (Emerson Quartet and Kirshbaum)
Brett Dean: Twelve Angry Men (SAKURA and Guests)
Anna Clyne: Threads & Traces (Mass Cello Ensemble) (LA Phil Commission)
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 (Mass Cello Ensemble)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Master Class with Ronald Leonard
10:00 AM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Acclaimed American cellist Ronald Leonard, formerly holder of the prestigious Piatigorsky Endowed Chair in Violoncello at USC, leads a master class.

Lunch Series Concert
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, with Robert Thies, piano

Schumann: Fantasiestücke
Shostakovich: Sonata
Debussy: Beau Soir
Debussy-Becker: Minstrels

Master Class with Mischa Maisky
3:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

The celebrated Latvian-born Israeli cellist Mischa Maisky, who studied under Piatigorsky, leads a master class.

Quintet+ Concert
6:30 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Laurence Lesser
Calder Quartet/Antonio Lysy

Dowland: M. George Whitehead his Almand (SAKURA)
Farmer: Fair Phyllis (SAKURA)
Gesualdo: Moro, Lasso (SAKURA)
Dowland: The Earl of Essex Galiard (SAKURA)
Bach: Suite No. 5 for Solo Cello, lute version (Lesser)
Onslow: String Quintet in C Minor, Op. 38, The Bullet (Calder Quartet and Lysy)

Evening Recital
8:00 PM | Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Sol Gabetta, with Kevin Fitz-Gerald, piano
David Geringas, with Rina Dokshitsky, piano
Calder Quartet

Chopin: Sonata, Op. 65 (Gabetta and Fitz-Gerald)
Chopin: Grand Duo Concertant, Op. 16a (Gabetta and Fitz-Gerald)
Schnittke: Sonata No. 1 (Geringas and Dokshitsky)
Vasks: The Book (Geringas)
Šenderovas: David’s Song (Geringas and Calder Quartet) (West Coast Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Andante Cantabile (Geringas and Calder Quartet)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Master Class with Laurence Lesser
10:00AM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

The distinguished American cellist, former student and teaching assistant to Piatigorsky, leads a master class.

Lunch Series Concert
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Zuill Bailey, with Bernadene Blaha, piano

Boccherini: Sonata in C Major
Stravinsky: Suite Italienne
Piatigorsky: Paganini Variations
Chopin: Nocturne in C-sharp Minor
Foss: Capriccio

Master Class with Thomas Demenga
3:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Swiss cellist Thomas Demenga, an internationally renowned soloist, composer and teacher, leads a master class.

Improvisation Workshop with Giovanni Sollima
5:30 PM |Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall (USC)

Italian composer and cellist Giovanni Sollima communicates music full of Mediterranean rhythms, with a melodic vein typically Italian in nature. He writes mainly for the cello and contributes significantly to the creation of new repertoire for the instrument. Sollima leads a workshop in improvisation geared towards helping cellists express themselves more fluently through their instruments.

Evening Concerto Concert
8:00 PM |Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Uriel Segal, conductor
David Geringas
Li-Wei Qin
Raphael Wallfisch
USC Thornton Chamber Singers
USC Thornton Wind Ensemble

Ibert: Concerto for Cello and Wind Instruments (Wallfisch)
Gulda: Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra (Qin)
Gubaidulina: Canticle of the Sun for Cello, Chamber Choir and Percussion (Geringas)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Master Class with Colin Carr
10:00 AM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Celebrated British cellist Colin Carr, who appears throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and teacher, shares his insights in a master class.

Lunch Series Concert
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Wendy Warner, with Rina Dokshitsky, piano

Brahms: Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38
Popper: Im Walde Suite, Op. 50

Master Class with Jean-Guihen Queyras
3:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Internationally acclaimed French-Canadian cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras leads a master class.

Quintet+ Concert
6:30 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Jeffrey Solow, with Ayke Agus, piano
Calder Quartet/Frans Helmerson

Anne Wilson: Lament, In Memory of Matthew Sheperd (SAKURA)
Haydn-Piatigorsky: Divertimento in D (Solow and Agus)
Schubert-Piatigorsky: Introduction, Theme and Variations, Op. 82, No. 2 (Solow and Agus)
Weber-Piatigorsky: Sonata in A (Solow and Agus)
Taneyev: String Quintet in G Major, Op. 14 (Calder Quartet and Helmerson)

Evening Recital
8:00 PM | Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Matt Haimovitz, with Christopher O’Riley, piano
Mischa Maisky, with Lily Maisky, piano

Philip Glass: The Orchard (Haimovitz and O’Riley)
Radiohead: Pyramid Song (arr. Christopher O’Riley) (Haimovitz and O’Riley)
Kino: Kukushka (arr. Christopher O’Riley) (Haimovitz and O’Riley)
Prokofiev: Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 119 (Haimovitz and O’Riley)
Webern: Two Pieces for Cello and Piano (Maisky and Maisky)
Webern: Three Little Pieces, Op. 11 (Maisky and Maisky)
Messiaen: Louange à l’Eternité de Jésus (Maisky and Maisky)
Messiaen: Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus (Maisky and Maisky)
Britten: Sonata in C, Op. 65 (Maisky and Maisky)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Master Class with Ralph Kirshbaum
10:00 AM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Piatigorsky International Cello Festival artistic director Ralph Kirshbaum leads students in a master class.

Lunch Series Concert
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Amit Peled, with Noreen Polera, piano

Kopytman: Kaddish for Cello and Piano
Lera Auerbach: La Suite del Ocells (West Coast Premiere)
Tsintsadze: Five Folk Pieces for Cello and Piano

Master Class with David Geringas
3:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

One of the most versatile performers and respected teachers in the world today, Lithuanian cellist David Geringas leads a master class.

Remembering Piatigorsky
6:30 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

Four of Piatigorsky’s outstanding former students – Laurence Lesser, Mischa Maisky, Jeffrey Solow, and Raphael Wallfisch – celebrate the career of their great teacher through film and panel discussion, moderated by Gail Eichenthal, Executive Producer at radio station KUSC.

Evening Concert – Baroque Conversations
8:00 PM | Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Colin Carr
Thomas Demenga
Jean-Guihen Queyras
Giovanni Sollima

Platti: Cello Concerto in D Minor, D-WD 657 (Queyras)
Vivaldi: Cello Concerto in C Minor, RV 401(Carr)
Boccherini: Cello Concerto in G Major, G. 480 (Demenga)
Leo: Cello Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, L. 60 (Sollima)
CPE Bach: Cello Concerto in A Major, H. 439 (Queyras)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Young Cellists Workshop
9:00 AM | Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall (USC)

Internationally recognized artist Antonio Lysy leads a workshop for young, emerging cellists. The Young Cellists will complete the workshop with a performance, to which the public is invited (no admission charge).

Forum on Fine Instruments
11:00 AM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

A forum on finding, choosing, and purchasing a fine instrument.  The panel for this forum is hosted by Artistic Director Ralph Kirshbaum and Antonio Lysy, and includes Jason Price, Director of Tarisio; Bruno Price, Partner in Rare Violins of New York; Christopher Reuning, Owner and President of Reuning Violins in Boston; Simon Morris, Managing Director of J&A Beare in London; and Eric Benning, Co-Owner of Benning Violins in Los Angeles.

Lunch Series Concert
1:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)
Narek Hakhnazaryan, with Noreen Polera, piano

Schumann: Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70
Brahms: Sonata in F Major, Op. 99
Ligeti: Sonata for Solo Cello
Khachaturian: Lullaby
Paganini: Variations on 1 String on a Theme by Rossini, “Moses”

Master Class with Frans Helmerson
3:00 PM | Alfred Newman Recital Hall (USC)

The highly esteemed Swedish cellist and pedagogue, Frans Helmerson, leads a master class.

Lecture: Don’t be an Urtext Victim
6:00 PM | Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Jeffrey Solow

In this featured lecture, Jeffrey Solow challenges some of the assumptions that musicians make when relying on urtext editions to dig deeper into the composer’s work. Instead, he argues, musicians can reach a more informed place of performance through research, logic, and intuition.

Piatigorsky International Cello Festival: Closing Gala
Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for Cello
7:00 PM | Bovard Auditorium (USC)
Colin Carr, Thomas Demenga, Matt Haimovitz, Ronald Leonard, Laurence Lesser, Mischa Maisky, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Andrew Shulman, with pianists Bernadene Blaha, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Jeffrey Kahane, Lily Maisky, and Christopher O’Riley.

The closing concert of the Festival presents the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven, each performed by a different renowned cellist.

Beethoven: Sonata in F Major, Op. 5, No. 1 (Leonard and Fitz-Gerald)
Beethoven: Variations in E flat Major (Lesser and Fitz-Gerald)
Beethoven: Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1 (Demenga and Blaha)
Beethoven: Sonata in A Major, Op. 69 (Carr and Blaha)
Beethoven: Variations in F Major (Haimovitz and O’Riley)
Beethoven: Sonata in G Minor, Op. 5, No. 2 (Maisky and Maisky)
Beethoven: Variations in G Major (Shulman and Kahane)
Beethoven: Sonata in D Major, Op. 102, No. 2 (Queyras and Kahane)

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