Any car driving down South San Pedro Street early Saturday night was likely confused by the queue snaking around the Aratani Theater and spilling down the block. The line—hundreds and hundreds deep—was composed of soul-crushingly hip 20-somethings in too-tight jeans and flat brim hats and dark black sunglasses despite a noticeable lack of sun. But they weren’t there for a new art show or the opening of DTLA’s latest restaurant-cum-arcade. They were there for a classical orchestra concert that would be putting the work of Beethoven on display—alongside the work of Kanye West.
Yeethoven, as the show was puntastically called, drew more than 900 people (not including those who couldn’t score a ticket) to Little Tokyo for a Kanye/Beethoven mash up, the brainchild of conductor Yuga Cohler and composer Stephen Feigenbaum. The pair created the program for The Great Music Series, which sets out to connect notable music of the present to masterpieces of the past. Calling Yeethoven, the series’ inaugural effort, a crowd-pleaser would be an understatement: much of the audience succumbed to their inner woo girl when Yeezy’s “Hold my Liquor” commingled with Thov’s (we think he’d be cool with that) Symphony No. 7, op. 92, or when”Guilt Trip” was combined with Piano Concerto No. 5, op. 73, bringing a sense of unfettered joy to a realm usually marked by propriety and sobriety—questionable among this particular set. And we’d say that’s a win.
Get a taste of Yeethoven below with the orchestra’s final piece, a mash up of “On Sight” with String Quartet No. 14, op. 131.