December 21, 2003 |
An extraordinary year, like none other. A symphony hall gave Los Angeles a new symbol, a new reason to feel good about itself. An architect, an acoustician, a symphony orchestra and its music director became civic stars. The world looked on in envy. Who would have ever thought? The Gehry-Toyota-Salonen Triumphant Triumvirate. It took 16 long years to build the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the outcome was often in doubt.
October 1, 2013 |
It looked on paper, with a few small exceptions, like an ordinary season-opening gala, the kind every major U.S. orchestra seems to practice these days - a jumble of Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Saint- Saëns favorites. The superstar soloist was Yo-Yo Ma, who flew in after having been guest last week for the New York Philharmonic's season-opening gala. Music director Gustavo Dudamel had jetted in himself practically at the last minute from performing in Japan. But Walt Disney Concert Hall is not paper.
August 6, 2011 |
The new Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo will debut Sept. 17, offering what appear to be by far the lowest major-venue ticket prices in the region, for its opening season of 23 shows. The 1,034-seat hall features acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota, famed for his work on such projects as Walt Disney Concert Hall. Jazz, classical music and world music will be the main fare at the $73-million auditorium and arts classroom complex on the Orange County campus of Soka University, a small liberal arts institution affiliated with the Tokyo-based Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai.
November 5, 2013 |
Estonian is a language dominated by overlong phonetic sounds. Double letters and umlauts are common. The Estonian name of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, which appeared at the Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo on Sunday afternoon, is Eesti Riiklik Sümfooniaorkester. It was led by its artistic director and principal conductor, Neeme Järvi. The first piece was by Arvo Pärt. These are not names meant to trip off the tongue but to be allowed to resonate generously in the vocal cavity.
October 25, 2003 |
Walt Disney's daughter Diane Disney Miller pondered for a moment as she considered the marked difference in feeling between Thursday's star-studded black-tie opening night at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Friday's performance of contemporary compositions, to which the audience was invited to wear "L.A. chic" attire. "I think this one is about the music," she said.
October 24, 2003 |
Yo-Yo ma, sans cello, waited outside an elevator to be escorted to a camera crew filming inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Near him was an electrician in a hard hat on a mission to fix a light over the new stage, along with a contractor chewing on a stubby, burnt-out cigar who needed to lay carpet for a party in the garden. No one around seemed interested in this unlikely trio, though.
July 1, 2003 |
The polished steel exterior of the Walt Disney Concert Hall is already familiar. Inside, the paint is dry, and few hard hats are in evidence. But one lingering question has been the most important: How will it sound? On Monday morning, that question was finally, if not conclusively, answered when the Los Angeles Philharmonic had its first rehearsal in what will become its home in October.
May 12, 2003 |
Mahler's Third Symphony, written in the last years of the 19th century as an epic farewell to Romanticism and a herald of Modernism, still stands as a masterpiece of intrepid hellos and sentimental goodbyes. The longest and most varied symphony in the standard repertory, it begins with eight horns, jubilant in unison, gleefully turning a Brahms tune into something new.
October 13, 1989 |
Some acousticians say designing concert halls is like making a musical instrument--They won't know how it sounds until it's completed. Others take a purely scientific approach, relying on mathematical equations and analysis. But Minoru Nagata, the gray-haired Japanese acoustician responsible for how the music will sound in Walt Disney Hall, is a man with a levelheaded approach: "Acoustics is like seasoning--too much can ruin the food. You want just enough."