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London Calling

YOLA Students

 

Our young musicians from YOLA have had a busy few days - on top of traveling to London to participate in the Future Play symposium at the Barbican Centre, they've also had to rehearse, meet new friends and basicallly do all the things you'd expect of young people who are traveling to London for the first time. Added bonus? Some of them got to see snow fall for the first time.

Here they are - with 90 of their fellow young musicians from London El Sistema-based programs - rehearsing for the Discover Dudamel event.

 

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This Is The BBC

BBC Studios

We've mentioned already how jam-packed the orchestra's schedule is on any given tour. After all, playing 11 concerts in four cities on two continents would be challenging for even the most adept tour planners - but when you toss a staged two-hour production of a brand-new oratorio into the mix, as well as an educational symposium that spans three days at the outset of the tour...well, then you're getting into "crazy busy" territory, especially when you ask orchestra members and your Music Director to go on the radio to promote your concerts.

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Behind the Music

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The LA Phil's road crew - (from l-r) Jesse Kolouch, Production Director Paul Geller, Alex Quintanar and Chris Duarte (not pictured - Production Manager Jeff Wallace)

Putting a tour together takes work. It's not all standing ovations and sightseeing - it's WORK. Travel schedules are brutal, rehearsal times short and hotel checkouts early. And, indeed, when the orchestra arrives in a location, the road crew has likely gone ahead of them to make sure the aforementioned time crunches affect the performances as little as possible.

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We're YOLA and We're Coming To The U.K.

A typical LA Phil tour has a lot of components. Not only does the orchestra play concerts in varied cities in equally varied destinations, but there's also - as befits an orchestra with a Music Director like ours - often an educational component to the proceedings. In 2011, members of the LA Phil stopped by the Barbican Centre to lead a master class or two; in 2012, the entire orchestra traveled to Caracas to see Gustavo's El Sistema in action; and now, in 2013, the orchestra is evolving yet again as members of our very own Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) travel to London to participate in the LA Phil co-hosted (along with the Barbican Centre and Take A Stand) Future Play Symposium.

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Go on Tour With Gustavo

Audiences in Europe and New York aren't the only ones excited for the LA Phil's 2013 Tour - Music Director Gustavo Dudamel is eager to hit the road with an especially "LA Phil-esque" repertoire of some 20th century favorites as well as some newer works. We'll let him tell the rest of the story:

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Moving Out

LA Phil on tour -- loading time.

Despite what you might think, it’s not that easy to pack up a 105-member orchestra, complete with instruments and wardrobe, and move them approximately 12,500 miles in three weeks time.

It's especially tricky when you consider the fact that the orchestra is taking a staged production – John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary – to four cities on two continents, in addition to its more expected orchestral fare such as Stravinsky’s Firebird and Debussy’s La mer.

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On the Road Again...

2013 Tour Map
It’s that time of year again.

It’s the time of year when cellos, basses and percussion are packed into road cases, when instrument cases are lovingly carried onto airplanes, when the orchestra staff scrambles to make arrangements and the LA Phil heads out on the road to take its unique brand of innovative, daring and classic programming to audiences worldwide.
 
It’s tour time again.
 

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A Life-Changing Experience

Gustavo Dudamel, Deborah Borda and Maestro Abreu in Caracas

Gustavo Dudamel, Deborah Borda and Maestro Abreu in Caracas

Sunday night at about 6:30 PM the LA Phil flight back from Caracas touched down at LAX. At that precise moment, an enormous cheer went up from the entire orchestra and staff.  

People cheered not simply because they were glad to be home but truly in celebration, pride and recognition of making history. It was a moment in which our LA Phil “family” acknowledged they had just pulled off one of the most audacious and challenging projects in recent symphonic history. The Mahler Project: 9 Symphonies/2 orchestras/one Gustavo.

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The Big Day!

LA Phil in Caracas

It's finally here!

Today's the day that The Mahler Project, all five weeks of it, ends in the most spectacular fashion imaginable.

Today's the day that Gustavo leads the LA Phil, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and a literal cast of thousands in the gargantuan Mahler 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand," live from Caracas!

Of course, you don't have to be IN Caracas to see it - you can head on over to your local cineplex and see it in HD from the comfort of your very own movie theater seat. It's the second installment of LA Phil LIVE, and it promises to be a movie-going experience like no other.

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Memorable Moments in Caracas

LA Phil keyboardist Joanne Pearce Martin gives a little one-on-one instruction to a young pianist.
LA Phil keyboardist Joanne Pearce Martin gives a little one-on-one instruction to a young pianist.

Many unforgettable memories have already been forged this week in Caracas and it’s an impossible task to summarize my impressions in a few words...but I'll try anyway with this short list:

• Maestro Abreu himself greeting us at the gate as we got off the plane!
• The unbridled enthusiasm of the Caracas audiences
• The joy in Gustavo's face as he joins together his Caracas & Los Angeles musical families in Venezuela
• The sound of a 1200+ chorus warming up in unison before our Mahler 8 rehearsal yesterday (I really can't remember the last time I did the "wave" during a rehearsal…)

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