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West gets a taste of the East

New OCPAC series features Carnegie Hall performers, like Lang Lang and Tan Dun.

January 21, 2009|By Alan Blank

Artists performing at New York City’s signature music venue, Carnegie Hall, will travel to the West Coast to play at the Orange County Performing Arts Center as part of a new partnership announced Wednesday.

The first season of the partnership will bring a series of accomplished Chinese musicians to the center including Lang Lang — perhaps the most famous pianist in the world, who has played at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Hall before — and Grammy-winning composer-conductor Tan Dun, who wrote the score for the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts hopes to make the partnership a lasting one, bringing new music each year. Orange County Philharmonic Society President Dean Corey says the arrangement makes financial sense because top-tier musicians like Lang and Dun can play multiple engagements during one trip to the states.

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The center unveiled its entire 2009-10 season Wednesday, and in addition to the Chinese music festival in the fall, the center is celebrating the 200th anniversary of composer Joseph Haydn’s death with a few programs centered on his music as well as the music of other composers whom he inspired.

“Without Haydn we probably wouldn’t have heard of Mozart or Beethoven. He really set up the whole classical form,” Corey said in a telephone interview from New York City.

A few big names will also be on the programs including pianist Emanuel Ax, who will play Chopin’s second piano concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and highly touted soprano Kathleen Battle, who will sing a recital accompanied by Van Cliburn-winning pianist Olga Kern.


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