LA Phil Blog

The Music

YOLA Tour Diary, Part 2

DAY 3—March 14, 2013

Major Events: Creative Music Workshop at the Guildhall School, workshop with Drum Works, and the first rehearsal with the Discover Dudamel Orchestra.

 

YOLA at the Barbican

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.

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Alpine Inspiration

Gustav Mahler used cowbells to depict bucolic life in the rural villages dotting the Alps and Richard Wagner finished the third act of his opera Tristan und Isolde in 1859 living in the very hotel I write this from, the Hotel Schweizerhof. He was so inspired by the incredible view from our hotel of Mount Rigi and Mount Pilatus rising above Lake Luzern that in 1866 he bought a house down the street which is now a museum.

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Swed Speaks

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.

Swed writes:

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Discovering Dudamel in Lucerne

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.

Who can spot Gustavo in the sea of red T-shirts?

 

 

 

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So Long, London!

LA Phil President and CEO Deborah Borda and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel on the plane from London to Lucerne.

It was an amazing week for the orchestra in London, to say the least. Our International Residency at the Barbican Centre, the Future Play Symposium and our three concerts were by all measures rousing successes. The orchestra played amazingly, the audiences were moved, hearts and minds were opened and fine times were had by all.

But it's a tour, after all, and to tour means to move - so that's what we're doing.

So long, London - hello, Lucerne!

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Masterclass Moments

LA Phil Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz demonstrates for a young musician in last Friday's Masterclass at London's Barbican Centre

Imagine, for a moment, that you're a young musician - say, a young trombonist or horn player - and you've gotten an invite to participate in a special music education symposium held at Europe's largest arts complex. What could be better than that?

Well, how about if two of the world's foremost authorities on the two instruments - the LA Phil's Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz and Principal Horn Andrew Bain, respectively - led semi-private masterclasses, giving you individual attention and lessons on how to improve your playing?

I bet you'd think that was pretty great - priceless, even.

 

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Wish You Were Here

Gustavo walks onto the Barbican stage to start the final London performance of the LA Phil's 2013 tour.

Well, the London leg of the LA Phil's 2013 Tour is very nearly in the books. After the week the LA Phil has had - last night's European premiere of John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary; the three-day Future Play Symposium at the Barbican Centre that culminated in the rousing, moving Discover Dudamel event; and the first-ever Green Umbrella new music program played on foreign soil - a program that consists of favorites like Debussy's La mer and Stravinsky's The Firebird can feel downright comforting.

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Dudamel, Discovered

Tony Brown, Executive Director of Heart of Los Angeles and Raymond, YOLA clarinetist, pose with Gustavo after the Discover Dudamel event at the Barbican.

One of the highlights of the LA Phil's residency at the Barbican was the Discover Dudamel event on MAR 15, during which the LA Phil's Music Director led 100-plus young musicians, from 10 youth orchestras (including members of our own YOLA) in a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.

We've got some descriptions of the event from the particpants forthcoming - and Brian Lauritzen from KUSC and the Barbican have some fine coverage up to hold you over --  but meanwhile, enjoy some photos of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Showtime!

The European premiere of John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary at London's Barbican Centre is mere moments away and we're feeling the excitement all the way across the pond.

Here's a short clip of John Adams offering some insight into what's it's taken to put this work on the stage after its concert premiere last May, as well as some photos from London that show just a hint of what's gone into taking this massive new work - consisting of a full orchestra, six singers, three dancers and the Los Angeles Master Chorale - on tour.

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Walking In London

Nathan Cole, the LA Phil's First Associate Concertmaster, takes a moment to pose with composer and LA Phil Creative Chair John Adams.

Back in London, one of my favorite cities to tour! It's always alive, and I speak the language.

Since my flight and trip to the hotel were fairly easy, I found myself with more energy than I'm used to for the first day of tour. So even though it was rainy and getting dark, I knew I had to take out the camera for a night walk. The combination of rain, city lights, and sunset was a lucky one. The folks eating at this cafe on the Serpentine in Hyde Park had it good!

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