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Letter: L.A. Phil responds to critic

September 07, 2013
  • Swooping, curvy lines are the archictectural signatures of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of its opening in September.
Swooping, curvy lines are the archictectural signatures of the Walt Disney… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

In response to Mark Swed's Critic's Notebook ["A Little Fine-Tuning," Sept. 4], reflecting on Walt Disney Concert Hall as it nears its 10th anniversary, I wish to offer the L.A. Phil's institutional perspective on the building's evolution and shed some light on planning for its future.

Walt Disney Concert Hall is an icon for Los Angeles and for our nation. Frank Gehry aptly described the hall as a "living thing." Living things continually evolve, as does the hall. We are fortunate that Frank is a member of the L.A. Phil Board of Directors. He has been and will continue to be a vital participant in exploring the many options for the hall's future development. As the Broad Museum opens and downtown becomes increasingly more vibrant, great opportunities exist.

The Music Center's stewardship of Walt Disney Concert Hall has been consistent and unwavering, both nurturing and further enhancing this magical building. The Music Center, together with the L.A. Phil and Los Angeles County, are keenly aware of the cafe and lobby design issues described by Swed, and are committed to a major project with Patina to improve these facilities.

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Nearly 10 years old, Disney Hall needs upgrades

The Music Center is also aware of the potential acoustical issues raised by the MTA and is fully committed to protecting the hall with the knowledge that any degradation of the facility would irreparably damage one of our community's most profound assets and be a national embarrassment.

In reference to Swed's characterization of the hall as a "moneymaker" for the Music Center, profits generated by rentals and movie shoots at the hall are directed toward the building's maintenance and rent reduction for the center's resident companies, including the L.A. Opera, L.A. Phil, Center Theatre Group and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

The building of Walt Disney Concert Hall was a 17-year odyssey. The journey was, at times, a bumpy and difficult process, and those charged with bringing the project to fruition were often faced with tough decisions. However, they persevered. The important fact is that the hall was built, and it is magnificent. It will be even more so in the years to come as improvements and investments continue.

The Music Center and Los Angeles County are stalwart and committed supporters, and we at the L.A. Phil are grateful.

Deborah Borda

president and CEO

Los Angeles

Philharmonic Assn.


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