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- How do I get to Walt Disney Concert Hall?
- What dining options are near the Music Center?
- May I bring food or drink into the auditorium?
- May I bring my handbag/backpack into the auditorium?
- What if I'm unable to attend my performance?
- How can I get updates about upcoming concerts/events?
- How can I learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall?
About The Performance
The term "classical music" can be used in two ways. When it's capitalized, it's usually referring to a historical period (c. 1730-1820), the time of Mozart and Haydn. The other meaning of "classical music" is much broader, covering the entire canon of Western art music, from Gregorian chant to Philip Glass and beyond. It encompasses a vast range of styles, forms and techniques, but in one respect, classical music differs from other types by its use of music notation, which is used by composers to indicate the pitch, speed, meter, rhythms and overall execution of the music. From the simplest song to massive compositions of mind-bending complexity, classical music often attempts to affect the mind, body and spirit in profound ways; the greatest examples succeed in doing just that.
A symphony orchestra is a large ensemble of musicians who variously play strings (violins, violas, cellos, basses), woodwinds (clarinets, oboes, flutes, bassoons), brass (trumpets, French horns, trombones and tubas) or percussion (drums, timpani, bells, etc.). Because of its size (100 or more musicians), an orchestra requires a conductor to keep the players together and present a unified interpretation. Compositions for the orchestra include such works as symphonies and concertos (for soloist and orchestra). Classical music is also written for, and performed by, smaller groups of instruments ("chamber music") or even by just one or two musicians ("solo recital").
Customs & Courtesy
The tired stereotype that you must dress formally (tuxedos, evening gowns, etc.) for a classical concert lives on, but only in cartoons and old movies. Never let your wardrobe keep you from a concert! Your experience of the music is what's important, so wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. As you'll see, a lot of concertgoers wear business attire or casual business attire. We do ask that you refrain from using strong scents, as they may be distracting to other patrons and the performers.
Although no special knowledge or experience is needed to enjoy an orchestral concert, certain practices have become customary:
- After the orchestra is seated, the first person to come on stage is the concertmaster (the lead first violinist), who is greeted with applause and who then initiates the tuning process. Next comes the conductor (with or without soloist), who is again greeted with applause. Once the conductor has bowed and turned towards the orchestra, everyone becomes quiet so the music can begin.
- Silence is the canvas on which music is experienced, so for maximum concentration and enjoyment, the audience should be as quiet as possible. In the sensitive acoustics of Walt Disney Concert Hall, even the slightest noise can be a significant distraction. What would normally go unheard in daily life (whispering, humming, tapping, turning pages, etc.) is noticed by everyone around you. Of course, mobile phones and all other electronic devices must be silenced before the performance begins.
- When should I applaud? This has been the subject of much debate. The tradition for the last hundred years or so has been to clap only at the very end of a piece, no matter how many individual movements there are. (In a recital, the custom is to applaud after a group of pieces, as indicated in the program.) The purpose of waiting is to maintain an unbroken atmosphere so that the piece retains its unity and that any spell the music has cast remains unbroken. But in earlier times, it was not unusual for the audience to respond with spontaneous applause, sometimes even insisting that a movement be repeated before a piece could continue. Today, as more music lovers attend classical programs for the first time, enthusiastic applause does occasionally break out between movements. If you are worried about when to applaud, the safest course is to wait until the conductor has turned around to face the audience and everyone is clapping.
It's a good idea to arrive at least 30 minutes before your concert time (double that, if it's your first visit). Then you'll have plenty of time to park, peruse the program and prepare yourself for the experience.
Many concertgoers arrive an hour early to hear Upbeat Live, the Philharmonic's pre-concert event where you can hear about the music on your program. It's held in BP Hall and is free for ticket-holders. Upbeat Live is presented for all L.A. Philharmonic and visiting orchestra concerts, Green Umbrella (new music) programs, organ recitals and performances on the Baroque Variations series. Upbeat Live Schedule and Information
Late Seating: In consideration of our artists and patrons, late seating will take place during the first appropriate pause in the program at the discretion of management. Certain programs are performed without intermission; in those cases, late seating may not be available at all. For the convenience of latecomers, the performance can be viewed and heard on monitors throughout the lobbies.
No children under six years old will be admitted to concerts except the Holiday Sing-Along (minimum two years old) and Toyota Symphonies for Youth (minimum five years old). Due to the sophisticated acoustics of Walt Disney Concert Hall, we ask that everyone in your party, regardless of age, be able to sit quietly through a concert lasting two hours or more without disturbing other patrons or the artists. Ushers may ask parents whose children are noisy or disruptive to take them outside the Concert Hall. If there is repeated disruption, we reserve the right to revoke admission and refund your ticket price, excluding service charges. Patrons of all ages must have a ticket to enter the Concert Hall and must sit in the seat indicated on the ticket.
The use of any recording devices, including cameras, is not permitted in Walt Disney Concert Hall at any time.
Planning Your Visit
You have several options:
- In person at the Box Office (Tues – Sunday, 12 noon – 6pm Closed Monday). The Box Office will be open 2 hours before each event and remain open until 30 minutes after performance start time.
- Over the phone with Audience Services at 323.850.2000 (daily, 10am-6pm)
- Over the internet via LAPhil.com/tickets
- Over the internet via Ticketmaster.com
For groups of ten or more, please contact Group Sales at 323.850.2050. See Group Sales page of this website for further information.
Patrons with Disabilities
Please visit our Accessibility Info webpage for further details.
Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at the south end of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, at 111 South Grand Avenue, between First and Second Streets.
From 101 South: exit Temple, continue straight onto Hope St.; turn left at 2nd Place, bear left onto Kosciuszko, left at Lower Grand. Entrance to parking is on your left.
From 110 North: exit 4th St., stay left and follow signs to Music Center, left on Lower Grand.
From 110 South: exit (left lane) at Hill; turn right onto Temple, left at Hope, left at 2nd Place, bear left onto Kosciuszko, left at Lower Grand.
Parking is available directly beneath Walt Disney Concert Hall; enter on Second Street or Lower Grand Avenue. Regular parking costs $9 ($23 valet parking at the Hope St. entrance) beginning at 5:00 p.m. for evening concerts, two hours before weekday matinees and all day on weekends; please bring cash. Accessible parking spaces for vehicles displaying valid, state-issued disability placards or license plates are reserved near the elevators on each level. Patrons with disability placards may also use valet parking for $23. Parking prices subject to change. For issues regarding Music Center parking, please contact Five Star Parking at 213.687.4484.
The Music Center offers an array of dining choices both before and after performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Click here for details on Dining in Downtown Los Angeles and at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
No food or drinks are permitted inside of the auditorium. Refreshments are available for purchase in the Walt Disney Concert Hall lobbies before the concert and at intermission, but cannot be brought into the seating areas.
All bags are subject to search by security officers. Security may require that large handbags or backpacks be left at the Coat Check in the lobby.
All single ticket sales are final, but you may help us allow others to experience music at Walt Disney Concert Hall by donating your tickets for re-sale; you will receive a donation receipt for tax purposes. The Box Office will accept ticket donations until 5pm before an evening concert or on the day before a matinee.
You may donate your tickets in one of three ways:
- Online - click on Donate Your Tickets under the Tickets section of this website up to 24 hours before your concert
- In person - bring your tickets to the Box Office prior to the concert
- By mail - send your original tickets, along with your name, address, and telephone number, to:
Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office
Donated Tickets Desk
P.O. Box 861417
Los Angeles, CA 90086-1417
Your tickets must be received prior to the concert. Please note: the Box Office does not receive weekend mail.
How Can I Learn More?
Join the LA Phil Email Club to get the latest updates, promotions, and special offers about Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Please mark all your preferences.
Learn more about the music and get up-to-date programming by signing up for Fast Notes. Fast Notes are streamlined program notes emailed to you about a week before LA Philharmonic Concerts, Celebrity Recitals, Chamber Music Concerts, Baroque Concerts, New Music, World Music and Organ Recitals. You'll get information about the music, composers and performers, links for more information as well as specially compiled playlists of audio samples on iTunes. Sign up for this free service at LAPhil.com/FastNotes.
Discover Walt Disney Concert Hall by taking a free self-guided audio tour narrated by John Lithgow and featuring insight from architect Frank Gehry, Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, principal donor Lillian Disney's daughter Diane Disney Miller and more. Call 323.850.2000 for more information.