Happy Birthday, "Hurricane Mama"

Celebrate this
musical maverick

Lovingly referred to as the “French fries” and “Hurricane Mama” — so named by musical visionary Terry Riley after a night of improvising — Walt Disney Concert Hall’s extraordinary pipe organ has, in its 10 years, drawn leading organists from around the world, establishing a genuine tradition. One frequent guest organist is the highly gifted Cameron Carpenter, whose adventurist approach is an ideal match for the LA Phil.

Salonen, Saariaho & Sibelius
Oct 24-26, 2014

These performances feature the U.S. premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s organ concerto Maan varjot (Earth Shadows), with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting.


Dudamel Conducts Saint-Saëns
Nov 20-22, 2014

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s long-awaited “Organ” Symphony, along with a triumphal organ/orchestra work by Barber and Saint-Saëns’ own “Organ” Symphony, both featuring Carpenter.


Pulling Out All The Stops
Nov 23, 2014

Pipedreams’ Michael Barone hosts a musical birthday party for the organ, featuring numerous brilliant organists.


Did you know?

  • The organ’s 6,134 pipes range in size from a pencil to a telephone pole.
  • The instrument was a collaboration between architect Frank Gehry and L.A. organ designer Manuel Rosales.
  • The organ can range from barely audible sounds all the way to fortississimos that can obliterate a full orchestra.
  • The “French fries,” those specially curved wood pipes in front, are made of solid, vertical grain Douglas fir.
  • The pipes behind the façade include both metal pipes (tin and lead alloys) and wood pipes (Norwegian pine).