I lived in New York on-and-off back in 2007-2008. I had such a great time there, and I really love the city. I went to Avery Fisher Hall every now and again, and one of those times was actually to see and hear the LA Phil. They were touring with Esa-Pekka, and I was extremely impressed. Never did I think that I would be a part of an LA Phil tour only a few years later. So the concert last Monday had special poignancy for me. I am so grateful to everyone at the LA Phil for showing me the trust of taking Blow bright on tour. Working with Gustavo and the orchestra has been such a joy, and I was thrilled to join them in New York.
I wish the orchestra and Gustavo great success for the rest of the tour. See you in LA!
Gustavo Dudamel makes his signature salute to the orchestra after Sunday's finale.
Despite coming down with a severe flu over the weekend, the LA Phil's Music Director Gustavo Dudamel soldiered on Sunday, leading the orchestra in a glorious final performance to a sold-out crowd inside Boston's Symphony Hall. Friends of the Phil in attendance included composer John Corigiliano, whose Symphony No. 1 was paired with Tchaikovsky's Fifth, and Classical KUSC's Brian Lauritzen, whose new series "Inside the Music" comes to Walt Disney Concert Hall this fall.
Lauritzen's colorful live-tweeting helped capture the excited swirl of activity surrounding the Hall pre- and post-concert:
Gustavo Dudamel with YOLA students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Youth Orchestra Los Angeles' (YOLA's) musical adventures continued throughout the group's action-packed Boston weekend! From touring Harvard to playing in an open rehearsal led by Gustavo Dudamel at MIT, these 10 talented students immersed themselves in academic life on the other coast.
Heaven, 15, works with Boston String Academy cellos.
The group transferred over to Cambridge, where they spent lunch and the early afternoon at Longy School of Music of Bard College. Each YOLA group had a chance to work with Longy faculty and alumni, followed by cookies with the Conservatory's president, Karen Zorn. Karen provided wonderful advice for the college-minded YOLA students, explaining the nuances of different kinds of higher education.
The Canadian leg of the LA Phil's North American trek is officially over. Our neighbors to the North were a magnifique audience! Toronto was "magical" with a crowd of more than 2,400, including students from the Sistema Toronto educational program, and last night's concert at Montreal's Maison symphonique was a "a triumph."
Gustavo Dudamel's trademark orchestra-view bow at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall.
Robert Harris of Toronto's the Globe and Mail begins "The Subtle Magic of Gustavo Dudamel," his reviewof the LA Phil's Torontoconcert, by calling Wednesday "an evening of magisterial music-making by a remarkable conducting talent." And it just gets more magical from there.
At the end of the Tchaikovsky, Gustavo Dudamel spent several minutes working his way through his orchestra, thanking them for their performances, before he turned, from a spot deep within his players, to face the cheering Roy Thomson throng. It was a very nice and telling touch, the behaviour of a conductor, however famous, who understands that his players are central to who he is.
Yesterday the Amtrak Acela Express (also known as the Los Angeles Philharmonic) rolled into Union Station and we were quickly whisked away to the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. We then had a total of about four hours to eat, rest and see some sights before another convoy of buses brought us to the Kennedy Center for a 30-minute acoustic rehearsal! And then ... well of course the main attraction followed at 8pm: a concert featuring the Symphony #1 of John Corigliano and the Fifth of Tchaikovsky.
I can report firsthand that the concert was a tremendous success ... The audience standing and applauding so enthusiastically that we had to oblige with an encore: a Polonaise of Tchaikovsky. More ear-shattering applause followed!
Concert crossroads: Signage captured en route from NYC to D.C.
It's a wrap for us in New York! The LA Phil's Monday night performance inside Avery Fisher Hall marked a fitting end to our first East Coast engagement. So, before we set our sights squarely on the nation's capitol, here's a quick look into what made last night's Manhattan finale so grand: