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If you thought last week at Walt Disney Concert Hall had a whole lot of Mahler, then get ready - this week will really knock you out. Gustavo and the LA Phil have progressed at a brisk but reasonable pace since launching The Mahler Project on JAN 13, but now that the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela has arrived and played not only THEIR first Mahler symphony with Gustavo but also the first of two performances of "Mahler's World" -- well, the only word we can think of to describe this week is "breakneck."
Here's what's happening in The Mahler Project this week:
The visiting Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela really gets things moving this week, as they perform the massive, 6-movement Mahler 3 tomorrow, as well as the lighthearted yet lovelorn Mahler 5 on Thursday. And, just so you don't think we're taking it easy on them, the Brass Ensemble of Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will also be playing a FREE concert - as part of the LA Phil's ongoing Neighborhood Concerts - at CSULA's Luckman Fine Arts Complex on Wednesday. You can find more info about that here.
Oh, and as noted briefly above, the second performance of the delightful "Mahler's World" Toyota Symphonies for Youth is Saturday.
The LA Phil is plenty busy as well, preparing for three performances of Mahler 6; the so-called "Tragic" symphony, with its famous hammer-blows, is considered to be some of Mahler's darkest work, which, if you think about it, is no small feat.
Finally, there's no shortage of Mahler Project non-concert and educational events going on this week - Mahler scholar Norman Lebrecht will give pre-concert talks before each of the performances mentioned above, with the exception of the Neighborhood Concert at CSULA. Lebrecht, along with LA Phil President and CEO Deborah Borda, is also part of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' ALOUD Series at LA's Central Library - their talk, which takes place tonight at 7:00pm, is based on Lebrecht's book entitled "Why Mahler: How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed Our World."
Why Mahler? We have no doubt that this question will be at least in part answered by this week's concerts and events.
Stay tuned for more on Mahler!