Blogs:

Behind the Music

Reflections from NYC


Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason.

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!

- Daníel

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Making Technicolor Waves Across North America


Gustavo Dudamel making waves in the Boston Globe's Arts section.

The LA Phil has packed up for LA and the reviews are in! Our North American Tour was a tremendous success. But don't take it from us ...

The Boston Globe's Jeremy Eichler really enjoyed the Phil's final concert, as "Making Waves at Symphony Hall" details. Eichler also had this to say about our orchestra itself:

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The Grand Finale: A Box-Office Hit in Boston!


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:

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Side by Side: Gustavo and YOLA in Boston


Gustavo Dudamel with YOLA students at Massachussetts 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.

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Mandolins Invade the Phil!


Guido Lamell and his mandolin on stage at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

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Saving the Best for Last in Boston


Violinist Kristine Whitson with former professor James Buswell.

Well, we made it to Boston, our final tour destination. Our charter flight left snowy Montreal this morning behind schedule due to a complicated luggage glitch. It was handled with aplomb by our LA Phil managers, who have this sort of thing down to a science. After a lengthy de-icing and a wait on the runway, we were off.

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Youth Orchestra LA Takes Boston!

A 7 a.m. wake-up call didn't faze our 10 YOLA students on their first day in Boston! They jumped right in, with chamber music performances and sectionals at an El Sistema-inspired program in Chinatown: Boston String Academy


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. 

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Bonsoir de Montréal


Martin Chalifour experiments with an ancient Persian version of his violin at a tour stop in Napa.

Bonsoir de Montréal,

It would be as easy to write about the joys and attractions of Montreal as it would be to explain the merits of sugar to a four-year-old in a candy store.

Just as predicted, colleagues who are here for the first time just love Montreal! This French-speaking city is where I grew up and studied music until the age of 20.

The music Conservatory, which still operates today, was a fabulous network of free institutions throughout the province of Quebec. It prepared us for the best opportunities for careers in music, and also had a section devoted to Theater Arts.

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"Un Triomphe" in Montreal & A Preview of Boston


Inside Montreal's belle Maison symphonique.

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." 

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Toronto Feels "the Magic of Gustavo Dudamel"


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 review of the LA Phil's Toronto concert, 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.

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