To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Philharmonic presents insideOUT, a month-long season of special celebratory events, opening this week. Led by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, and featuring Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, this anniversary season celebrates Community, Collaboration and The Music of Today in a series of star-studded concerts.
The title insideOUT refers to the vision of architect Frank Gehry for this magnificent edifice, which was to create a new kind of concert hall for Los Angeles. “From the inside out,” he says, “the building was designed to respond to its surrounding, and serve as a gathering place ..... a building that invites you in .... [where] the body languange is welcoming”.
“The tenth birthday of Walt Disney Concert Hall is a wonderful reason for our great city of Los Angeles to celebrate,” says Gustavo Dudamel. “Our friend and colleague, Frank Gehry, lovingly built this world renowned masterpiece as a living room for the people, and we get to share it with you through our music making.”
The festivities begin on September 25th with a series of free community concerts - featuring special guest Julie Andrews as narrator in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and also local ensembles Las Cafeteras and The Jazz Angels.
The community events culminate in a free Open House Concert, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, in which the Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) will perform alongside the LA Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall - the first time in the six-year history of the Youth Orchestra. Inspiration for the creation of the Youth Orchestra came from Dudamel’s widely acclaimed artistic vision, and his experience with Venezuela’s El Sistema approach to music education - whereby free instruments and high quality music instruction are provided by community partners to students in communities which would not otherwise have access to these facilities. A simulcast of the YOLA/LA Phil Side-by-Side concert will be shown on a giant screen in Grand Park, and it will also feature a solo performance by legendary pianist Herbie Hancock - LA Phil Creative Chair for Jazz.
Continuing the 10th anniversary celebrations, the subscription concert season has its Opening Night Gala on Monday September 30th. During this season, the LA Phil, led by Gustavo Dudamel and Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents a series of classics and premieres, with a host of outstanding soloists, many of whom have enjoyed a special relationship with the Orchestra since the opening of the Concert Hall.
The Opening Night Concert is conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist, in a program designed to represent the development of the Concert Hall - from conception to completion - with the music of Bach, Tchaikovsky, Adès, Mahler and Saint-Saëns telling the story. Installations by video artist Netia Jones are a special feature of the program, and the concert opens with John Cage’s 4’33”, providing a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the Concert Hall’s superb acoustics.
The actual anniversary date, on October 23rd, will be marked by a uniquely Californian event - a special Green Umbrella program, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, featuring the first complete realization of LA composer Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels.
Guest soloists appearing throughout this anniversary season include piano virtuosi Yefim Bronfman and Leif Ove Andsnes, percussionist Pedro Carneiro, baritone Peter Coleman-Wright, cellist Annssi Kartunen and violinist Leila Josefowitz. In its inaugural 2003-04 season the LA Phil introduced both World Music and Jazz to its repertoire, and Portuguese fado singer Mariza - who appeared in that first World Music series - returns for this anniversary season. Jazz takes centre stage as Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride and Herbie Hancock - all three LA Phil Creative Chairs for Jazz - collaborate in what’s described as a “one-of-a-kind jazz celebration”.
The season features two world premieres - Magnus Lindberg’s new work for Cello and Orchestra and the Knussen realization of Peter Lieberson’s Shing Kham - both of which were commissioned by the LA Phil. There’s a US premiere as well - Brett Dean’s The Last Days of Socrates - a commission by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.
“The LA Phil,” says Deborah Borda, President and CEO, of the Association “believes in the power of technology as an important driver of consumer engagement.” With this in mind, two fascinating digital initiatives are being introduced - WDCH10 and Concert Master.
WDCH10 provides an online exploration of Walt Disney Concert Hall - which will delight those who haven’t yet had an opportunity to visit this fascinating venue. This initiative includes highlights of major LA Phil milestones, architectural information - including an interview with Frank Gehry - interviews with Gustavo Dudamel and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and also with special guests who have performed regularly at the Concert Hall.
Concert Master represents the first phase of the LA Phil’s Classical Music Discovery Initiative - an online tool that uses a fun, game-like interface to help people less familiar with classical music choose a concert based on their experiences and behavior.
The spirit of this momentous anniversary is succinctly summed up by Deborah Borda. “Walt Disney Concert Hall represents the defining qualities of the LA Phil – innovation and excellence,” she says. “This magnificent and iconic building continues to inspire us to re-imagine who we could be as both an orchestra and an organization - to push artistic boundaries, provide new channels of access, and redefine the role of today’s orchestra.”
For further information please visit LAPhil.com/insideOUT