As in all things, the LA Phil’s way forward began with our Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, who said:
All cultural institutions must take the risks, set themselves unifying goals, and be inspirational ... Music is not only an entertainment. Whatever we play, whether it is Beethoven or Herbie Hancock, Mozart or rap, it is a social action, an expression of the desire for social harmony which includes an element of hope for the future ... I believe in music as an important tool for social change. At the end, it is all about that.
While it was clear that concerts at the Bowl would not be possible, the LA Phil’s musicians, staff, and leadership found ways to activate the space for the benefit of the community:
In August, the Hollywood Bowl’s parking lots became the site of a food giveaway organized by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in partnership with L.A. County. In October and November, the Hollywood Bowl was turned into a voting center, where thousands of Los Angeles County residents came to cast their ballots.
And finally, the Bowl’s enormous performance space was brought to life for the socially distanced taping of Sound/Stage—the LA Phil’s series of free concert films watched by hundreds of thousands of music lovers all over the world, yearning for the joy and comfort of live music.
As we return to the Hollywood Bowl and each of our venues in the exciting weeks and months ahead, we look back on a year not only of great challenges but of equally great resilience, creativity, and fortitude.
We express our unending gratitude to the Friends of the LA Phil, who stood by us and whose generosity made all this work (and all that’s to come) possible.