December 2, 2013 |
With numerous high-profile projects already in various stages of design, including Facebook headquarters, Los Angeles' Grand Avenue and the President Eisenhower memorial in Washington, architect Frank Gehry has signed on to create a new performance space named for conductor Gustavo Dudamel in Venezuela. Gehry, who designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has been hired to envision a new facility that will include a concert hall, rehearsal studios and educational space, according to Dudamel's London manager.
November 30, 2013 |
This season's offerings of "The Nutcracker" are robust and varied. Westside Ballet of Santa Monica presents Tchaikovsky's holiday classic. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, Dec. 1, 1 and 5 p.m. Sold out. (310) 434-3200. http://www.westsideballet.com Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre offers highlights as part of the Nutcracker Holiday Festival. Alex Theatre, 216 Brand Blvd., Glendale, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. $25-$90. (818) 243-2539. http://www.alextheatre.org Inland Pacific Ballet performs with the Pomona College Orchestra.
November 25, 2013 |
On Sunday night in Los Angeles, two competing entertainments occupied downtown concert spaces to offer musical variety. At the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live before a few thousand people and a few million TV viewers, the American Music Awards beamed high-tech pop to the masses, wide-open digital glitz packaged for those invested in the ephemeral. A dozen blocks north at Walt Disney Concert Hall in a stately space with strict rules against smartphone usage, Beck Hansen's "Song Reader" celebration offered similar star power in a more enclosed setting, one that honored both the permanence of printed matter and the open-sourced bliss of on-the-fly musical interpretation.
November 22, 2013 |
Austrian-born conductor Manfred Honeck took over the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2008 following a short-lived experiment with a troika of conductors -- and evidently they like him there, extending his contract through 2020. He has led the Los Angeles Philharmonic before, but not since 2000, so his appearance Thursday night was his debut in Walt Disney Concert Hall. And it was a memorable debut, even an electric one -- in a general-issue all-Dvorák program, of all things. But first, fate dictated a last-minute prologue as Philharmonic President Deborah Borda and a surprise guest, Esa-Pekka Salonen, came onstage to eulogize Diane Disney Miller, who passed away on Tuesday.
November 20, 2013 |
Diane Disney Miller, who died on Tuesday at 79, was famous for being the elder daughter of Walt Disney. In Los Angeles, she was also known as a formidable cultural presence who played a crucial role in the creation of Walt Disney Concert Hall. Miller died in Napa Calif., following a fall in September. Earlier that month, she spoke to the Los Angeles Times on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall. The concert venue, designed by architect Frank Gehry, was funded with an initial $50-million gift from her mother, Lillian Disney.
November 19, 2013 |
Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney and a philanthropist who bucked powers-that-be in Los Angeles to keep architect Frank Gehry on the job during a crucial phase of planning the city's new concert hall, has died. She was 79. Miller died Tuesday at her home in Napa, Calif., from complications of a fall in September, according to close family friend Richard Greene, who co-wrote a biography of her father. A resident of Napa and San Francisco since the mid-1980s, she chaired a Los Angeles gala in September commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Walt Disney Concert Hall's debut.
November 17, 2013 |
In the 1980s, when he was in his early 30s, Russian emigré Semyon Bychkov burst onto the scene in a blaze of hype -- recording regularly for Philips, touring with Herbert von Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic. He is now 60, no longer as loudly touted, yet thinking big in terms of repertoire. Back in 2011, Bychkov and the Vienna Philharmonic blew through Costa Mesa with Mahler's Symphony No. 6; his current guest-conducting schedule is dominated by such epic-scaled blockbusters as Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11, Britten's “War Requiem” and Richard Strauss' “Alpine Symphony.” Falling right into that pattern, Bychkov's agenda with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday night contained only one piece, a big one: Bruckner's Symphony No. 8. For this mighty, 82-minute-long, alternately thunderous and hushed cathedral of a piece to begin to make its effect, a conductor should have a tight grip on the structures of the four movements, not letting things drift into fragments in search of a whole.
November 2, 2013 |
With its Walt Disney Concert Hall 10th Anniversary concerts in the rear-view mirror, the Los Angeles Philharmonic returned to something approaching normalcy Friday morning with a familiar face. It was Itzhak Perlman, who last appeared with the orchestra just over two months ago at the Hollywood Bowl. As always, Perlman remains a reliable draw; the house Friday was sold out. (Two more concerts are scheduled.) The season brochure simply listed Perlman playing “Summer” and “Winter” from Vivaldi's “The Four Seasons” - which probably would have been enough to sell out the place without any further help.
October 25, 2013 |
"Hit it, Zubin!" Thus spake Zappa in Pauley Pavilion in 1970. Forty-three years later, this immortal injunction to Zubin Mehta at the premiere of Frank Zappa's "200 Motels" came back Wednesday night to haunt us. And taunt us. We think of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, once it moved into Walt Disney Concert Hall, as having become a uniquely relevant and risk-taking orchestra. After all, it celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the hall on Wednesday with a staged production of the world premiere of what is being called Zappa's "200 Motels - The Suites.
October 20, 2013 |
The Los Angeles Philharmonic's monthlong 10th-anniversary celebration of the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall entered Phase 2 on Friday night. Esa-Pekka Salonen was back. And it was old-home week. The former music director's old Finnish friends were on hand for the premiere of Magnus Lindberg's Cello Concerto No. 2, written for soloist Anssi Karttunen. There were other old friends as well - Debussy and Bartók. Both composers were mainstays of Salonen's 17 years leading the L.A. Phil.