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Critic's pick: Free concert with Youth Orchestra LA and L.A. Phil

September 26, 2013|By Mark Swed | Los Angeles Times Music Critic
  • Gustavo Dudamel rehearsing members of YOLA for their Hollywood Bowl debut in 2009.
Gustavo Dudamel rehearsing members of YOLA for their Hollywood Bowl debut… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Gustavo Dudamel will do it again. He will begin his fifth season as Los Angeles Philharmonic music director like he did his first -- offering a free concert with the Youth Orchestra LA, which he founded with the L.A. Phil, before going on to lead a very tony gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The big occasion for this year will be a celebration of Disney’s 10th anniversary. What will be different, though, is that the free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday will, this time, be at Disney Hall, not the Hollywood Bowl. Since the tickets have already been distributed, the program will also be shown on a free live simulcast in Grand Park.

What will also be different -- besides the fact the YOLA players are considerably more advanced and worldly than they were five years ago (some even accompanied the L.A. Phil to London earlier this year) -- is that for the first time the young musicians will sit side by side with the L.A. Phil for a performance of the bounding, folk song-inspired fourth movement of Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony, known as “The Little Russian,” as well as for Marquez’s just as upbeat and even more danceable “Conga del Fuego.”

What won’t likely change, though, is the sheer inspirational fervor Dudamel inspires in student musicians and the likelihood of tears in the eyes of even the hardest-bitten unsentimental music professionals in the audience who think they’ve seen it all.

As an added bonus, Herbie Hancock will start the afternoon with a selection of solo works.  


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