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Arts Notes

One thing's for sure: no Elton

October 20, 2002|Mark Swed

The first music played in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, we reported last week, came from concertmaster Martin Chalifour as part of a late-night adventure with architect Frank O. Gehry and Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen. But what will be the first music heard by the public when the hall opens a year from now?

The Philharmonic is being secretive until its official announcement Nov. 21, smugly sealing news leaks more effectively than the Pentagon. But music is not war, and it's interesting to know some of the plans for the opening concerts, considering the enormous impact they could have on Los Angeles' cultural profile.

Here, at least, are a few details. There will be several, probably four, opening events. John Adams was long ago approached for new work to celebrate the occasion, and you can be sure Elton John, who made a mockery of the opening night of Verizon Hall in Philadelphia, has no such invitation. Mahler's Second Symphony, performed by Salonen, the orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale, will also be among the opening events.

And during the first season of the hall there will be appearances by the Berlin Philharmonic under its new music director, Simon Rattle, and the San Francisco Symphony, under Michael Tilson Thomas.

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