The Pride and Joy – LA Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Philharmonic owes its birth to William Andrews Clark, Jr., a multi-millionaire and amateur musician, who established the city's first permanent symphony orchestra in 1919. The 94 musicians of the new ensemble under the direction of Walter Henry Rothwell took only 11 days to rehearse for their first ever performance before the audience of 2,400 at Trinity Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Following its opening season in 1919-1920, the Orchestra made Philharmonic Auditorium, on the northeast corner of Fifth and Olive, its home for the next 44 years. Mr. Rothwell remained the Orchestra's music director until his death in 1927. Since then, nine renowned conductors have served in that capacity: Otto Klemperer, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, André PrevinOtto Klemperer, Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, André Previn
Since its first season, the Philharmonic has made downtown Los Angeles its winter home. It was in December 1964 that it began its residency at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center of Los Angeles County.
In 1987, the late Lillian Disney made an initial gift of $50 million to build a world-class performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney's devotion to the arts. Since then, other gifts and accumulated interest bring the Disney family's total contribution to over $100 million. The County of Los Angeles agreed to provide the land and significant additional funding to finance Walt Disney Concert Hall's six-level subterranean parking garage.
In 1988, renowned architect Frank Gehry was selected to design the complex, whose final shape he unveiled in 1991. The County initiated construction of the parking garage in 1992, completing it in 1996. Construction on the Concert Hall itself began in November 1999. Also that year, the Music Center launched a capital campaign to complete the construction funding.
In the fall of 2003, the Philharmonic took up residence in the acoustically superb, stunning Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall — the fourth performing venue in the Music Center complex. At the same time, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association vastly increased the number of concerts it presents during the winter season, which now includes jazz, world music, organ recitals, Baroque concerts, holiday programs, and much more.
Each year since its founding in 1919, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has been hailed as Southern California's leading performing arts institution. Today, under the dynamic leadership of Esa-Pekka Salonen, who became the orchestra's tenth music director in 1992, the Philharmonic is recognized as one of the world's outstanding orchestras.
Currently there is a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall and a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, one of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a current seating capacity of just under 18,000 being the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922. Today’s Phil is not only involved in the concert hall events, it is in most of places where Angelenos are: schools, churches, and community centers. The outreach program grows in popularity every year.
The 2009/10 Season’s inauguration is also Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural concert as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The season kicks off on Saturday, October 3 at the Hollywood Bowl with ¡Bienvenido Gustavo!, a Target Free Community Concert. This unprecedented event celebrates the arrival of Gustavo Dudamel, the talented, young Venezuelan conductor, to his new home, the city of Los Angeles.
The first half of this free community event features young local ensembles, rising stars and established names who have served as role models for the next generation of musicians in their communities. The evening features Andrae Crouch with an all-ages gospel choir, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) with the Silverlake Conservatory Ensemble, Herbie Hancock with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Jazz Band, David Hidalgo and Taj Mahal with Los Cenzontles, Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, YOLA - EXPO Center Youth Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel BEETHOVEN Ode to Joy and culminates with Gustavo leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. For the patient ones there are fireworks in the end!
Free tickets will be available from August 1 at the Hollywood Bowl’s Box Office and on-line (service charges apply).