LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel stands in front of the LA Phil's truck outside New York's Lincoln Center following the last performance of the LA Phil's 2013 Tour.
The stage platforms are struck, the instrument cases are packed and the big LA Phil truck is rolling back to Los Angeles.
Another tour is in the books and we think it's fair to say that this one has been successful. From London to Lucerne to Paris to New York, critics raved, audiences cheered and we at the LA Phil were once again reminded why we do what we do.
Led by our Music Director, we took a typically audacious set of programs on the road. We played programs that said, "This is who we are and this is what we think is important." And we brought the audiences along with us - audiences that may have been skeptical were won over, note by note, until they were standing at the end of the concerts. And, sometimes, even cheering DURING the concerts.
LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel flashes a quick smile as the doors close on the famed elevator to the stage at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall before Thursday's final performance of the 2013 Tour.
The reviews are coming in, and it's official - New York loves the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel. Enough, anyway, to break into spontaneous applause at unforeseen times during Thursday's performance of Stravinsky's The Firebird.
And why shouldn't the audience applaud when they might usually not? After all, New York Times writer Anthony Tomassini, in a combined review of the orchestra's two concerts at Avery Fisher Hall, writes:
It is exciting to hear this charismatic conductor taking risks and following a vision. Now in his fourth season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he has galvanized the city and become for all conductors a model of community outreach and education. Not bad.
Back on familiar shores and mere hours away from the East Coast premiere of John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary, the LA Phil's 2013 Tour is winding down. Sure, there's tonight's performance - not to mention tomorrow's - but the tour has entered its endgame.
After seven concerts, it's pretty clear that folks in Europe are pretty fond of Gustavo Dudamel. Whether it's the Discover Dudamel rehearsal at the Barbican Centre in London; a photo op for dozens of young musicians in front of the KKL in Lucerne; or the enthusiastic responses to the LA Phil performances at the Salle Pleyel in Paris (and the other two places, frankly), the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Maybe it's the passion that Gustavo clearly has for the music being reflected back to him by appreciative audiences. Maybe it's the daring repertoire of 20th and 21st century works he and the orchestras bring to European halls. Maybe it's everything - whatever it is, audiences have been pretty receptive to Gustavo and to the LA Phil.
And for that, we thank those in Europe that have come out to see the LA Phil perform. Such appreciation makes touring overseas totally worth it.
Countertenor Brian Cummings (third from right) and the rest of the cast of The Gospel According to the Other Mary, along with Gustavo Dudamel, director Peter Sellars and composer John Adams, take their bows in Paris after the piece's premiere in the City of Lights.
My love affair with the city of Paris began in 2001 when I participated in the world premiere of John Adams' oratorio El Niño. Barely 21 years old, I was astounded by the beauty of the city and the richness of French culture.
Samantha: Today was tiring! We had breakfast and headed toward Guildhall to have an improv session. It was really fun. We did a weird circle where we passed around noises then we composed a song together. It was from a Japanese fisherman folk song.
Isaac: Improv is something we could do at YOLA. Making small riffs as we go along. Eventually, we could make a great piece. We could make an official YOLA anthem for our orchestra.
The LA Times' Mark Swed sits down to speak with several YOLA musicians while on tour in London.
LA Times classical music critic and friend of the Phil Mark Swed traveled to London to take in all the happenings during the orchestra's International Residency at the Barbican Centre. But he, like many a hometown critic that travels with his local orchestra on tour, had seen all three of the programs that the orchestra was playing. If that's the case, what's a critic to do? What does he write about?
Well, if you're Swed, you write about the 10 YOLA students that traveled to London to take part in the Future Play Symposium. And, if you're Swed, you do a pretty amazing job of capturing the spirit of not only the event, but also the thoughts, words and feelings of its most important participants.
It isn't only our own young musicans of YOLA or those in London-based El Sistema-inspired programs that get to "Discover Dudamel" - it's a Swiss thing too! Our Music Director took time out from preparing for tonight's Lucerne performance of The Gospel According to the Other Mary to pose with 150 young musicians from the Lucerne nucleo this morning.