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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First Time on Tour: The Quest for a "Great" Bass


Bass player Brian Johnson with his "good," faithful bass.

How did we get to Toronto already? I remember the the weeks leading up to tour like they were yesterday. How many pairs of shoes would I need? 2? 6? And underwear? 14 or 47?  

Planning to be out of town for two weeks performing is very different from planning to be gone for two weeks on vacation. I mean, who brings tails to the pool in Hawaii? Not to mention the fact that this is my first tour ... But not to worry, in the end I brought an adequate amount of shoes and undergarments.

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Report from D.C.


Cellist Barry Gold onstage at The Kennedy Center.

If it's Tuesday it must be ... Washington D.C.!!!

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!

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Left Coast, Meet Right Coast


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:

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Our NYC Color Commentator: Yuja Wang


Yuja Wang in a black dress with the "irresistible" Gustavo Dudamel.

The resplendent gigantic truck of the LA Phil permeating an air of effulgence yet intimate familiarity, this tour has been a tantalizing teaser (I am only doing three cities) with the admirable onstage and adorable offstage, lovable musicians and fun efficient staff. Only one more to go in my hometown on an Irish-green day, as for the irresistible Maestro, only two words: never enough.

Looking forward to July at the Bowl, birth place of my orange dress. ;)

- Yuja

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The LA Phil Plays Lincoln Center! (Part One)


Composer John Corigliano and Gustavo Dudamel offstage after Symphony No. 1.

The standing ovation following the LA Phil's Sunday afternoon concert was not the orchestra's first 2014 tour triumph, but it was our first (so far!) at New York's City's hallowed Lincoln Center.

As part of that great institution's "Great Performers" series, Gustavo Dudamel led the LA Phil in another moving performance of John Corigliano's First Symphony and a masterfully restrained take on Tchaikovsky's Fifth. (Cue the thundering applause.)

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From Cow Town to Cultural Hub: A Former KC Resident Takes Stock

TimesTalks: Gustavo Dudamel & John Adams

We just made it to the Big Apple! Our first order of business was a "TimesTalks" event led by New York Times classical music reporter Michael Cooper with Gustavo Dudamel and John Adams.

The LA Phil's performances are Sunday and Monday at Avery Fisher Hall.

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