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The Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces LA Phil Media Project

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Films will be released weekly beginning September 25, through November 20, 2020.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces LA Phil Media Project

The Los Angeles Philharmonic today announced the details of SOUND/STAGE, an online compendium of concert films and related interviews, essays, and artwork. Films will be released weekly beginning September 25, through November 20, 2020. The series is one of a number of far-reaching media partnerships and digital initiatives, including the At Home with Gustavo radio program and In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl television series, to fall under the LA Phil Media umbrella.

Captured by directors James Lees and Charlie Buhler, the SOUND/STAGE performances range from orchestral concerts featuring LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil to sets from jazz titan Kamasi Washington, powerhouse singer-songwriter Andra Day and LA's own genre-defying Chicano Batman.

The concert films will be available online at laphil/soundstage. Each film will be accompanied by essays, interviews, artist playlists, and exclusive performances from the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford. This material is designed to provide context to the individual musical pieces and broader concert themes. Contributors include Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Pico Iyer, Herbie Hancock, Rian Johnson, Gabriela Ortiz, and Alicia Vera among others.

Each of the nine episodes will be posted weekly. The five all-orchestral programs feature music performed by Dudamel and the LA Phil, with guest artists J'Nai Bridges and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and feature compositions ranging from elegant danzóns and love songs to meditative reflections and orchestral finales. The remaining programs include Kamasi Washington performing his original score to the documentary Becoming based on Michelle Obama's memoir of the same name, Chicano Batman performing selections from their new album Invisible People, a set from Andra Day featuring Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam," and a Power to the People! concert featuring both orchestral work and Andra Day's performance of one of the unofficial anthems of the Black Lives Matter movement, "Rise Up."

LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel said, "The world needs music more than ever right now. These new, fully-realized SOUND/STAGE programs have grown out of our recent experiences both as individuals and as members of a larger society: the ways we have stayed connected during the solitude and the reflective time of lockdown and quarantine, the overwhelming power, inspiration and passion of the Black Lives Matter protests, the memories of a lighter time when we could share a danzón at the 'Salón Los Ángeles' in Mexico City... our world is forever changed, but our music - from Beethoven to Márquez to Jessie Montgomery - has never felt more urgent, more timeless and more important."

Chief Executive Officer and David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Officer Chair Chad Smith said, "As we were thinking about how to present the programs Gustavo put together, we knew we had to do something special. Because we're here in Los Angeles, it was natural to take a more cinematic approach and work with directors who have strong points of view. We also wanted to distinguish these films by creating a unique online experience, and a digital magazine format allows us to explore the concert's themes in greater depth and foreground the interconnectedness of our own work with the orchestra, nationally known popular artists, community-based artists, and the humanities. This is ultimately an experiment in digital concert presentation - you can't replace the live experience, so what can the camera and online environment allow us to experience that being seated in a theater cannot? We're also interested in what audiences respond to. Our first SOUND/STAGE offerings are free with donations encouraged, but we hope to come away with greater insight into the future of virtual programming and the potential of paid memberships."

The first SOUND/STAGE program, "Love in the Time of COVID" featuring J'Nai Bridges, debuts on September 25 at laphil.com/soundstage, and made possible by the generous support of Diane and David Paul. All programs are offered for free with donations encouraged. The concert will be broadcast at a later date by Classical KUSC.

All performances were filmed outdoors at the Hollywood Bowl under strict adherence to public health guidelines with all performers maintaining social distance.



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