LA PHIL Outlines Plans for New Century
On November 9, 2017, the Los Angeles Philharmonic held a press reception. LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel today joined Board Chair Jay Rasulo and Acting President and CEO Gail Samuel in announcing the orchestra's plans for its centennial season. They spoke of major world wide artistic programs, educational and social impact initiatives, as well as public celebrations that begin September 2018 and extend through October 2019.
Dudamel said, "This celebration reinforces my core beliefs that music unites people, speaks to everyone, needs to be accessible to all, and is transformative. When I am lucky enough to listen to the kids of Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) play beautiful, life-changing music, I can actually see and hear the second century of the LA Phil. It is a true honor to lead this organization and help define its artistic vision at this auspicious time."
Jay Rasulo added, "The LA Phil is famous for being forward-thinking, and so our centennial is going to be about the next hundred years-in Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, throughout our Los Angeles communities and around the world. The 2018/19 season is a platform for launching ourselves into the future we want."
Numerous members of the orchestra played for the invited audience of writers, donors, and connoisseurs. Principal Trumpet Thomas Hooten played the world premiere of of Andrew Norman's NEW WORK, a sparkling piece for unaccompanied trumpet that made us all sit up and take notice of its interesting sound colors. Assistant Principal Bass Oscar M. Meza and YOLA alumnus bass Isaac Green played Dave Anderson's fascinating Blew Cheese. Members of the LA Phil's Brass and Percussion sections concluded the program with a brilliant rendition of Witold Lutos?awski's energy-filled Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Underscoring the LA Phil's commitment to orchestral music as a living tradition, during 2018-19 season, the orchestra will present 50 commissioned works. Gustavo Dudamel noted, "this is what leadership in our world demands - challenging ourselves, being unique, seeking innovation and continuing to be a reference for other orchestras." Former music directors, including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, and Michael Tilson Thomas, will be invited back to contribute to the celebratory season. For the centennial year, the Green Umbrella series will be entirely comprised of world premiere commissions.
The LA Phil is expanding its program of collaborations and partnerships for the 2018-19 season. Los Angeles Philharmonic audiences can look forward to a collaborative project for American Ballet Theater and the LA Dance Project. LA Phil jointly commissioned a new work by Thomas Adès and The Royal Ballet. We can also expect a programmatic partnership with the California African American Museum in a celebration of composer and conductor William Grant Still. There will also be a collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that will feature Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing during the 2019 Oscars ceremony.
Frank Gehry, architect of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, will design a permanent YOLA Center in Inglewood made possible by a leadership gift from Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen. The center will help meet the LA Phil's goal of doubling the number of students served by 2022. For those who are not quite as talented, there will be a free-ticket initiative called "100 for the 100." The LA Phil will expand access to Walt Disney Concert Hall performances across its centennial season with an initiative that will foster new partnerships throughout L.A. County, distribute 10,000 free tickets across 100 concerts, and reach audiences with limited access to Walt Disney Concert Hall.
On Sunday, September 30, 2018, all of Los Angeles will be invited to join in a free, day-long festival called LA Phil 100: Celebrate LA! The day will have a CicLAvia, an open streets event that will feature performances by professionals and amateurs from Grand Avenue, in front of Walt Disney Concert Hall, all the way to the Hollywood Bowl. Toward evening, the street festival will flow into a free, massive kick-off concert at the Hollywood Bowl, in which Gustavo Dudamel will conduct the LA Phil and guest artists in a celebration of all the artistic communities that make Los Angeles vital. Plan on it now!
In order to meet the needs of the future, LA Phil needs to raise funds. It has already established a Centennial Campaign with a goal of $500 million $300 million of which has already been raised. Rasulo pointed out that people around the world recognize the LA Phil for three things above all: artistic excellence, innovation and community engagement, "These aren't separate strands of our organization," he said, "they're braided together in our DNA. The Centennial Campaign that carries us into our future is integrated in just the same way. We are raising funds for annual operations, capital projects and endowment, so this organization can go on doing its vital work through the century to come."