The acclaimed Los Angeles Philharmonic and its dynamic music director, Gustavo Dudamel, return to New York for the first time since 2010 for two concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, as part of Lincoln Center's Great Performers series, March 27 and 28, 2013. Maestro Dudamel and the Orchestra arrive at Lincoln Center with two adventurous programs of 20th and 21st century music which showcases the ensemble's place as one of the world's most forward-thinking orchestras, including the New York premiere of a co-commissioned work by the eminent American composer John Adams.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic's first concert features the New York premiere of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a large-scale, full-evening work by the Orchestra's Creative Chair John Adams. The oratorio for orchestra, chorus and soloists features a libretto by frequent Adams collaborator Peter Sellars, based on the New Testament stories of Lazarus and Jesus's Passion, as well as contemporary texts by Latin-, Native- and African-American writers. The result is a fresh approach to the Biblical story, similar to the successful modern telling of the nativity oratorio in Adams and Sellars's El Niño, for which this is a companion piece. Peter Sellars will direct these staged performances, along with a cast featuring Kelley O'Connor as Mary Magdalene; Tamara Mumford as Martha; Russell Thomas as Lazarus; countertenors Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings and Nathan Medley as narrators; Michael Schumacher, Anani Sanouvi and Troy Ogilvie as dancers; along with Los Angeles Master Chorale and their music director Grant Gershon. Following the performance, Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean of The Juilliard School, will moderate a post-concert discussion about the work with John Adams and Peter Sellars on the stage of Avery Fisher Hall.
The concert version of The Gospel According to the Other Mary was premiered last spring in Los Angeles to great acclaim, with the Los Angeles Times immediately hailing it as "a masterpiece." The Orchestra presents the world premiere of the staged version in early March at its home in Los Angeles, followed by an international tour through London, Lucerne and Paris, ending with this performance in New York. The Gospel According to the Other Mary by John Adams is co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Barbican, London; Cité de la Musique-Salle Pleyel, Paris; Lucerne Festival; and the NTA ZaterdagMatinee, Radio 4's concert series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. The March 27 presentation of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is made possible in part by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.
With this performance, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts continues an ongoing relationship with John Adams, having presented many works including the New York premieres of such pieces as Naïve and Sentimental Music, El Niño, The Dharma at Big Sur, and City Noir. Lincoln Center co-commissioned Adams's theater work I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, as well as the Pulitzer Prize winning piece On the Transmigration of Souls with the New York Philharmonic. In 2003, Lincoln Center presented "John Adams: An American Master," a 10-event festival devoted to the celebrated composer. In 2009, the Mostly Mozart Festival presented the New York premiere of A Flowering Tree, a chamber opera by John Adams with libretto by Peter Sellars, which was co-commissioned by Lincoln Center.
The second and final concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's appearance in New York offers a diverse program of 20th century works, filled with selections ranging from impressionistic to avant-garde. The concert kicks off with Zipangu, by the late French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier, a modern exercise in color and harmony performed by an all-string ensemble. The concert continues with Claude Debussy's powerful and popular impressionistic masterpiece La mer, and concludes with the complete score to Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird.