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ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
For a few foolish moments in the feverish run-up to the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall 10 years ago, cynical wags nicknamed the new venue Mouse House. Tomorrowland would have been more like it. The Los Angeles Philharmonic has enjoyed the most remarkable decade of its nearly 100-year history. In Yasuhisa Toyota's transparent acoustical design for Disney Hall, there is nowhere to hide. The surround-sound auditorium favors democracy over exclusive accommodations, since listeners sit in direct contact with the musicians and with one another.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
The real estate mania that brought the financial system to the brink of collapse has also had a deleterious effect on the arts. Too many refurbished show palaces and money pit museums have found themselves at the mercy of their mortgages. When overhead costs soar in unpredictable economic times, adventurous programming is the first thing to suffer. A rising commercialism is the price we pay as a cultural community for fancier digs. But for every rule propounded by a furrowed-brow critic there is a thrilling exception.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Dana Ferguson
In its first 10 years Disney Hall became more than a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, it also became a destination for photographing advertisements and filming commercials, television shows and movies. Howard Sherman, vice president of operations at the Music Center, said the product of Frank Gehry's imagination works on film because the hall can be so many things to so many people. "If they want futuristic stainless steel curves, this is where they come. If they want a space to do a formal black tie gala in a traditional environment, this is where they can come," he said.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Culture Monster tried to get a little orchestral dust-up going this week but didn't get far.  It began when something jumped out at us from a document that no one would think harbored any fighting words: the Boston Symphony's most recent nonprofit tax return. In Part III, "Statement of Program Service Accomplishments," the IRS asks groups to describe what they've done to justify their tax-exempt status and their donors' generosity. In its written response, the Boston Symphony noted that it performs more than 200 annual classical and pops concerts, concluding that, "all told, the BSO is the world's largest orchestral operation.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Dodging the labor strife that has descended on other recent negotiations over orchestral musicians' pay, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the union representing its musicians announced Monday that they've reached a new four-year contract that lifts wages by just less than 1% a year. At the end of four years, the minimum yearly wage for the Phil's more than 100 musicians will be $154,336, up 3.8% from the $148,700 minimum in the contract that expired Sunday. The minimum wage scale had risen 17% over the previous four-year contract.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Accolades aren't all Gustavo Dudamel has reaped as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A recently filed public tax return for the L.A. Phil provides the latest glimpse of the financial dimension of being a classical music sensation. It also reflects the orchestra's continuing financial strength during the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30. Dudamel's compensation for the 2011 calendar year, his second full year as the Phil's music director, was $1,425,088 including benefits - up 44.6%.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 4, 2013 | By Richard S. Ginell
Nicholas McGegan, the effervescent maven of 18th century music, has been making a point to play against type in Southern California this year -  a Mahler Fourth Symphony in Pasadena in February, an all-Mendelssohn program at the Hollywood Bowl last month. There will presumably be many such excursions to come after he becomes the Pasadena Symphony's principal guest conductor this fall. Yet in his return to the Bowl Tuesday night with a chamber-sized edition of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, McGegan went back to his usual turf with nothing but Mozart in the first half and relatively early Beethoven in the second.  It was not an optimum outing for this conductor at first.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 2013 | By Martin Miller
If you listened carefully in the hills and canyons around the Hollywood Bowl on Friday evening, you could almost hear a simple ostinato built around two bass notes that evoked the ominous feeling of an imminent attack by a predatory shark. Da-dum. Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum. Run for your lives, here it comes! Something deep, dark and ageless -- at least in pop culture terms -- indeed swept into the Bowl on a very warm summer night. But it wasn't the Oscar-winning theme from "Jaws" by film composer John Williams, who conducted his annual concert "John Williams: Maestro of the Movies" (the show also plays Saturday night)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By David Ng
The Los Angeles Philharmonic will hold a free, open-house concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in September, featuring conductor Gustavo Dudamel and musicians from the Youth Orchestra of L.A. Members of the two orchestras will perform a matinee concert on Sept. 29, with the performance broadcast live to a big screen in Grand Park in downtown L.A. The event -- which will mark the first time that musicians from the orchestras will have played together -- is part of a series of celebrations called "insideOUT" commemorating the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
It was only natural that "Naturale" would serve as the centerpiece for the What's Next? Ensemble's micro-series program Saturday night at Monk Space, designed to explore "musical concepts of space, time and place. " Luciano Berio's score for viola, percussion and recorded voice investigates the intersections of world cultures in the folk traditions of Sicily, with a late 20th-century viola twist. "Naturale" also happens to be one the greatest solo works of any time or place for the instrument.
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