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Cover story | TICKETS

The inside scoop on securing your spot

October 23, 2003

Getting tickets for the inaugural season at the Walt Disney Concert Hall may seem as involved as completing your personal tax forms: Series, no series? Single tickets, last-minute buys? Alternatives, rebates, special offers? And, in the new Frank Gehry-designed hall, where to sit?

Here are a few pointers:

Although the new 2,265-seat hall is one-third smaller than the L.A. Philharmonic's previous home, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, ticket buyers have more choices when it comes to seating. In the "vineyard-style" hall, the audience is seated on different terraces surrounding the stage. There are also seats behind the orchestra -- the choral seats. (For choral performances, this is where the singers would be.)

For some concerts, the tickets for those choral seats are among the cheapest in the house. Beginning at $15 for selected performances, music students or those simply interested in seeing the expression on Esa-Pekka Salonen's face as he conducts can buy a spot that has the musician's view from the stage. Other cheap tickets are the "rush tickets." Students and seniors can buy $10 seats two hours before the concert, if available.

At the other end of the scale, the most expensive tickets (save for the gala events) reach $120 for orchestra seats at some concerts.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday November 01, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 53 words Type of Material: Correction
Disney Hall number -- The phone number for general information about Disney Hall was incorrect in the Oct. 23 Calendar Weekend. The correct number -- (323) 850-2000 -- is for all L.A. Philharmonic venues. And a Disney Hall graphic incorrectly listed the cost of Terrace seating as $15-$35; the correct range is $30-$120.

The hottest series are Jazz, the Philharmonic Sampler series on Thursdays, the Symphony Series, Music Tells a Story on Sundays, First Nights on Fridays and the Toyota Symphonies for Youth on Saturdays.

That doesn't mean if you're, say, a jazz lover and didn't buy early that you absolutely can't get a ticket. Since subscribers can exchange their tickets as late as the day of a concert, even sold-out performances may become available.

In the new season, there are eight main music series -- from baroque to the green umbrella series (new music) and a variety of themed evenings.

Want to hobnob with a first violinist? "Casual Fridays" features a post-concert reception with orchestra members. With little modesty, the "Philharmonic Sampler Series" is billed as "big composers, big symphonies, big concertos, big sound and big-name conductors and soloists."

The Sunday Brunches offer food, then music. For those parents who can yank their kids away from Saturday morning cartoons, there's pre-concert art-making, musical activities, dance, theater and storytelling at the Toyota Symphonies for Youth.

Prices vary between concerts. Case in point -- tickets for a Philharmonic performance of Mahler's "Resurrection" go from $35 to $120, but seats for a program of Salonen's own work, Steve Reich and two new commissions by Lee Hyla and Colin Matthews start at $15, with the most expensive seats topping out at $40.

And some tickets are showing up on EBay. Two terrace seats for the entire Friday night "Adventure" series (six concerts) could be had recently for $1,200.

"The eyes of the world are on this new hall," the prospective seller said in the Web site advertisement. "This subscription is for the true music lover ... or someone who wants to be 'in.' "

No doubt scalpers will come to the new hall too.


Rush ticket rundown

* Bring cash. No credit cards or checks accepted. Cost is $10.

* Available to senior citizens, 65 and older, and full-time high school or college students with a valid ID only.

* Box-office-only sales begin two hours before concerts.

* Seat location is at the discretion of the box office.

* Call (323) 850-2000 on the day of the performance to check rush ticket availability.

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