Love in Paris featuring featuring Ariettes Oubliées (forgotten songs) by Claude Debussy
Time & Location
About the Event
This program features Ariettes Oubliées (forgotten songs) by Claude Debussy performed by Risa Larson, soprano & David Simmons, pianist
Soprano Risa Larson has established herself as a highly versatile musician who is adept in a wide range of musical and theatrical styles. She has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Opera, among others. Risa’s international engagements include a tour of John Adams’s “The Gospel According to the Other Mary” with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Lucerne Cultural and Congress Centre in Switzerland, the Barbican Centre in London, and Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York. Other venues include the Vatican, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hollywood Bowl, Ford Amphitheatre, Richard Nixon Library, The Conrad and The Getty Center.
Solo performances with the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the baton of Grant Gershon include Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, Rosasharn in the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath Concert Suite, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Haydn’s Maria Theresa Mass, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Britten’s Missa Brevis, Ferko’s Festival of Carols, Betinis' Songs of Smaller Creatures and Swayne’s Magnificat. Of her performance of Bach’s Magnificat, the LA Times noted, "Especially thrilling was the moment early on when the glorious soprano Risa Larson transported us with her powerful strains in the lush aria 'Quia respexit.’”
A masterful musician, Risa delights in collaborating with composers and premiering their new works. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Green Umbrella Series, she performed as soloist in the premiere of Henry Brant’s Tremors. Other Los Angeles Philhamonic’s solo credits include Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of Bramwell Tovey. At the Jacaranda Music Festival, Risa performed as soloist in ‘Energische Schönheit’ as part of the weeklong Los Angeles Philhamonic’s celebration of contemporary composer, Péter Eötvös. In addition to solo work, Risa is passionate about performing chamber music. At the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, she collaborated with worldrenowned pianist, Inon Barnatan. As a recitalist, Risa tours regionally featuring art songs by both male and female composers.
Risa’s artistry and extensive vocal range can also be heard on feature film soundtracks, television commercials, contemporary albums, and interactive media, including Godzilla, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Click, X-Men 3, Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics album (RCA) and as soprano soloist on Nico Muhly’s A Good Understanding (Decca Classics).
For more information, please visit: http://www.risalarson.com/
J. David Simmons, pianist
A native of Oklahoma and member of the Cherokee Nation, J. David Simmons is a free-lance pianist residing in Costa Mesa. He holds a BM in piano from the University of Kansas where he studied with Richard Angeletti, visiting artist Menahem Pressler, and Sequeira Costa. His graduate study was at the University of Southern California where he earned his MM in piano under John Perry. For three years in a row, he was heard as both soloist and accompanist in recitals for the Wheatstone Conference (a seminar in the arts, religion and philosophy for gifted high school students). He was one of five pianists performing one of the five Beethoven piano concertos (No. 3 in C minor) with the Bratislava Chamber Orchestra at the PianoFest Austria in Bad Aussee. He was also soloist in Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini with the Pacific Palisades Symphony; and soloist in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Los Angeles Solo Repertory Orchestra.
Mr. Simmons’ list of honors and awards includes: the Carl Preyer Award for the outstanding graduating piano major at the University of Kansas; the Stewart Grant for graduate music study awarded by the Musical Research Society; and the Grancell Piano Scholarship and the Liberace Foundation Award, both bestowed by the piano faculty of the University of Southern California. He was twice a finalist in the St. Charles Art & Music Festival International Piano Competition.
For five years, he was a frequent visiting artist for Crystal Cruises, performing classical piano recitals aboard ship while traveling throughout the world. In 2001, he appeared as a principal actor (playing the part of a pianist accompanying an opera singer) in a Windows XP commercial.
Currently, he is the Music Director (Organist-Choirmaster) at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Newport Beach, a position he has held since 2003.
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