When you make it to your 100th birthday, you deserve a pretty great party—and in 2018 L.A. Phil will be going big. Starting with the gifts, which they’re giving to the city in the form of 10,000 free tickets to performances in the 2018/2019 season.
The free-ticket program, “100 for the 100,” is aimed at bringing in audiences that have previously had limited access to Disney Concert Hall shows. The tickets will be distributed through L.A. Phil partnership organizations all across the county. It’s all part of a plan to expand the orchestra’s reach into the L.A. community.
Another component of that plan: The announcement that Frank Gehry has signed on to transform a 17,000-square-foot facility in Inglewood into a permanent home for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. The new YOLA Center will be able to offer space to train 500 young musicians from the surrounding neighborhoods each year and figures into a plan that offers kids not just music lessons but college and conservatory counseling, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.
Ultimately, the hope is that the brightest stars will see a pathway to joining professional orchestras in L.A. and elsewhere, diversifying the field as they go.
“Everyone recognizes that a lack of diversity on stage is a serious challenge to the future of our music,” John Lofton, the L.A. Phil Resident Fellows Orchestra Chair, “But I don’t know of any other orchestral organization that is taking direct action on this level. It makes me tremendously proud to be a member of the L.A. Phil.”
The whole season will be one of celebrations, including a free music festival, L.A. Phil 100: Celebrate L.A., on September 30, 2018, including live public performances all along a CicLAvia route stretching from Grand Avenue to the Hollywood Bowl, followed by a large free concert at the Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel conducting, and a collection of surprise guests making appearances.
Also in September, 2018, keep your eyes out for a multimedia visual art installation to be will be projected on the exterior of the Disney Concert Hall and a “California Soul”-themed gala, featuring works of California musicians from Frank Zappa to John Adams.
Overall, the 2018/2019 season is set to be a barn-burner, by orchestra standards. Expect 50 premieres of new commissioned works from composers Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Vijay Iyer, Julia Adolphe, Ashley Fure, and others. Jazz musician Herbie Hancock will curate his own Green Umbrella program for the first time, there will be an exciting collaboration with Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project and the American Ballet Theater, John Cage’s “Europeras 1 and 2” are getting an innovative new staging by envelope-pushing artist Yuval Sharon, and way more.
“Whoever you are, from whichever neighborhood you come, you are a part of our history and our future, and our music belongs to you,” Gustavo Dudamel said in the season announcement. “That’s what we want to show the people of Los Angeles from the very first day that our centennial begins.”
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