The Wallis announces nine winter classical concerts

"Winter @The Wallis" series in Beverly Hills features cross-cultural programs and artists, including Wu Han, Shanghai Quartet, Cho Liang Lin, Jeffrey Siegel, Santa Cecilia Orchestra and the Colburn Orchestra

By Truman C. Wang

At a little over two years old, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts ("The Wallis") in Beverly Hills has quickly become the new destination for classical chamber music in L.A.'s Westside, joining the long-running "Music in the Mansion" series at the Greystone Mansion and the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.  

The nine concerts of "Winter @The Wallis", from 1/8/16-3/11/16, showcase an eclectic multi-cultural, multi-generational mix of artists and programs, from the famous to the up-and-coming, the East to the West, and the local to the international.  Newly appointed Managing Director Rachel Fine said of the series, “Classical music is my life’s blood and I’m so pleased The Wallis, whose intimate [500-seat] Bram Goldsmith Theater provides the perfect setting for chamber music, has curated a series perfect for both seasoned classical music lovers as well as those new to the music."

One hour before each concert, patrons are invited to attend lively Q&A's with the artists and special guests, and enjoy special offerings of wine tastings and pairings specifically chosen for each program.

The series:

"David Finckel & Wu Han: The Passionate Cello" Fri, Jan 8. Wine & conversation with Wu Han at 7pm; performance at 8pm The Wall Street Journal named cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han “America’s Power Couple of Chamber music.” They rank among the most dynamic and influential forces in classical music today. Their performances have inspired audiences around the world and won universal critical acclaim. The duo’s thrilling virtuosity and insightful musicianship are matched by their artistic versatility, which finds them equally at home in recitals, chamber music and orchestral soloists. This program includes music by Strauss, Messiaen, Chopin and more.

"Santa Cecilia Orchestra: A Celebration of American & Latino Composers" Sat, Jan 16. Wine & conversation with Yalil Guerra, composer of A la Antigua, at 7pm; performance at 8pm With a mission to break down barriers so everyone can enjoy the beauty of classical music, LA-based Santa Cecilia Orchestra has been making history wherever it performs. Under the baton of legendary Maestra Sonia Marie De Leon de Vega, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will perform a spirited tribute to the music of Latino and American composers with world-renowned flamenco artist Maria Bermudez. This program includes music by Piazzola, De Falla and Copland.

"Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet" Sat, Jan 23. Wine & conversation with select members of The Shanghai Quartet at 7pm; performance at 8pm East/West cultures merge when Wu Man & The Shanghai Quartet take the Bram Goldsmith stage at The Wallis for an unforgettable night of music. Pipa virtuosa Wu Man has been called “a force of nature” by Gramophone Magazine and has acted as muse and inspiration for contemporary composers ranging from Tan Dun to Terry Riley. The four-stringed Pipa is often called the ‘sound of Chinese culture’ and has been part of the history since ancient Chinese Dynasties. This program includes work by Beethoven and music specifically composed for the Pipa.

"Cho Liang Lin & Jon Kimura Parker" Sat, Feb 13. Wine & conversation Cho Liang Lin and Jon Kimura Parker at 7pm; performance at 8pm Violinist Cho Liang Lin, lauded the world over for his distinguished thirtyyear career including his position as Music Director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, and pianist Jon Kimura Parker, a veteran of the international concert stage having performed with the likes of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and André Previn, continue the East/West series. This program includes works from Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak. 

"Sean Chen" Fri, Feb 19. Wine & conversation with Sean Chen at 7pm; performance at 8pm Wallis presents pianist Sean Chen, recent winner of UPenn’s eminent 2015 Annenberg arts fellowship for artists on the verge of breakthrough. Chen won over fans and critics alike at the 2013 Cliburn Competition as the first American to earn a Cliburn award since 1997. 

"Bing Wang & Ben Hong" Sat, Feb 20. Wine & conversation with Bing Wang and Ben Hong at 7pm; performance at 8pm Two of the LA Philharmonic’s finest musicians take to the Bram Goldsmith Stage at The Wallis to close out the EAST/WEST: Merging Music & Cultures series. Chinese violinist Bing Wang, Associate Concertmaster of the LA Philharmonic will perform with fellow LA Phil Assistant Principal cellist Ben Hong in this eclectic program featuring music by Tan Dun, Mark-Anthony Turnbridge and Bach.

"Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: An American Salute" Sat, Feb 27. Wine & conversation with Jeffrey Siegel at 7pm; performance at 8pm Jeffrey Siegel’s sold-out Keyboard Conversation® returns to The Wallis in a new concert that celebrates our country’s most beloved composers with welcoming classical music and captivating commentary. In this program Jeffrey Siegel’s American Salute features George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, as well as music by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Scott Joplin. 

"Colburn Orchestra, Yehuda Gilad, Music Director and Conductor; Richard Beene, bassoon" Sun, Mar 6. Wine & conversation at 1pm, performance at 2pm The flagship ensemble of the Colburn Conservatory of Music, the Colburn Orchestra comprises some of the most elite musicians in the world. The orchestra performs under the baton of critically acclaimed Music Director and Conductor Yehuda Gilad. This program is a part of an exciting series from the partnership between The Wallis and Colburn School.

"Steven Lin" Fri, Mar 11. Wine & conversation at 7pm, performance at 8pm Young Taiwanese-American pianist Steven Lin impressed many with his unshakeable focus as he famously played through a 6.5 earthquake during a competition in Japan. The New York Times recently hailed, “His playing [is] immaculately voiced and enhanced by admirable subtleties of shading and dynamics.” This program includes music from Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin and more.

Single tickets are $29-$99; Subscription series begins at $156. Purchase by phone (310)746-4000, online, or at the Box Office, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210