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.
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.
| Posted by Nathan Medley, countertenor in "The Gospel According to the Other Mary" in Lucerne
Nathan Medley (far right) consoles Mary Magdalene (Kelley O'Connor) with his fellow countertenors (Daniel Bubeck and Brian Cummings) in a scene from John Adams' The Gospel According to the Other Mary
Who knew John Adams could sound so good with a little extra cheese in the belly?
That's a random observation about performing The Gospel According to the Other Mary in Switzerland, sure. But, after our Lucerne experience, I can honestly say that "those hills were alive with the sound of music."
As we round the half way point of our tour and head onward to the discerning French it is a perfect moment for this kind of reflection. Two wonderful observations come to mind:
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.
| Posted by David and Kiki Gindler, LA Phil Board Members in London
LA Phil Chairman David Bohnett with Kiki and David Gindler
Twelve hundred people came to see the LA Phil at the Barbican last night. Not bad for a weekday new music program performed by a visiting orchestra. The Phil could not have asked for a more enthusiastic audience--"the most spoiled musical audience in the world," according to The Telegraph.
But the excitement for many of us began long before the first note. How cool to see the LA Phil's familiar logo lighting the iconic wood walls encircling the Barbican stage? Pretty darn cool, indeed.