2019/20 SEASON CARRIES THE
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC INTO ITS SECOND CENTURY AND
LAUNCHES GUSTAVO DUDAMEL INTO HIS SECOND DECADE AS
MUSIC & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Power to the People!, a Celebration of Music and Humanitarianism Co-Curated by Dudamel and Herbie Hancock
Dudamel Conducts Ives and Dvořák, Pairing the Symphonies of Two Champions of the American Spirit
Sunday in the Park with George, a New Staged Production of Sondheim’s Classic Musical Led by Dudamel
Salonen and the Weimar Republic, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Exploration of a Fabled Era’s Revolutionary Musical Culture
A Viennese New Year’s Celebration with Zubin Mehta
Collaborative Programs by Principal Guest Conductor Susanna Mälkki with Star Violinist Leila Josefowicz
Free Pre-Season Community Concerts Led by Paolo Bortolameolli
A Tour to Mexico City, London, Boston, and New York; the LA Phil Takes Up Residency at the Barbican in London
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Gala Concert to Cap the Centennial Celebrations, with Dudamel, Salonen, and Mehta Conducting Together
And a Season-Climax Performance by Dudamel of Schoenberg’s Immense, Late-Romantic Gurrelieder
LA Phil and Deutsche Grammophon Announce Recording Contract, Centennial 32-CD / 3 DVD Box Set, and a Dudamel Celebration of John Williams
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Los Angeles, CA (FEBRUARY 19, 2019)– Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and CEO Simon Woods today announced the 2019/20 Walt Disney Concert Hall season, ushering the Los Angeles Philharmonic into its second century of music-making and inaugurating Dudamel’s second decade as the orchestra’s leader.
A once-in-a-lifetime Gala on October 24 will mark the turning of the century, as Dudamel, Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Conductor Emeritus Zubin Mehta take turns leading the LA Phil in repertoire closely identified with each, then join forces on the podium for the world premiere of a Daníel Bjarnason composition for orchestra with three conductors. And then, as part of the grand finale to the Centennial, and launch of the second century, all three Music Directors will perform their own individual concerts with signature programs: Mehta with Mahler, Salonen with Sibelius, and Dudamel with a program of Beethoven’s Ninth paired with the world premiere of an LA Phil commission by Gabriela Ortiz for chorus and orchestra.
Gustavo Dudamel will conduct 17 different programs throughout the 2019/20 season, in a musical spectrum that ranges from Mozart, Adams, and Ginastera to Schoenberg’s vast, late-Romantic Gurrelieder, and a fully staged version of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George. John Adams, the LA Phil’s Creative Chair, will once again organize the bold, forward-looking Green Umbrella series, including the annual Noon to Midnight new-music marathon, culminating this season with a collaboration between composer Steve Reich and visual artist Gerhard Richter. Principal Guest Conductor Susanna Mälkki will return with performances of LA Phil commissions paired with historic repertoire and collaborations with star violinist Leila Josefowicz.
Carrying forward the LA Phil’s commitment to contemporary music, the 2019/20 season will include premieres of 22 LA Phil commissions. Six LA Phil commissions from past seasons will also return, solidifying their place in today’s orchestral repertoire. These highlights will run throughout 2019/20 and will include a season-spanning focus on the music of Andrew Norman.
Many of today’s most exciting instrumentalists will take the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall during the season, including Yuja Wang, Seong-Jin Cho, Emanuel Ax, Lang Lang, Sergio Tiempo, Ray Chen, Daniil Trifonov, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Hélène Grimaud, Brad Mehldau, Esperanza Spalding, Claire Chase, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Joshua Bell, Nicola Benedetti, and the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
The LA Phil will continue to expand into the many communities of Los Angeles, including a series of three pre-season concerts conducted by LA Phil Assistant Conductor Paolo Bortolameolli. An extraordinary Power to the People! festival, co-curated by Dudamel and William Powers & Carolyn Powers Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock, will explore the concern for humanitarian issues that animates so much great music. Reaching further, the LA Phil will tour in 2019/20, traveling to Mexico, Boston, New York, and London, where it will celebrate the first of its three years as the International Orchestral Partner for the Barbican Centre.
The LA Phil will start an ongoing commitment to bringing to the surface the relevant contemporary ideas and issues that run through its programming with a new strand of humanities work intended to convene civil discourse about the sociocultural, political and community-related themes of the works performed on stage. The 2019/20 season will include two weeks of panels, film screenings, exhibits, and cabaret performance examining the Weimar era and its contemporary resonances organized by LACMA senior curator and department head of Modern Art Stephanie Barron and independent curator Nana Bahlmann. Further programming will include a series of Power to the People! conversations and workshops focused on building community through music.
Deutsche Grammophon and the LA Phil have entered a major new recording contract that will capture more than 28 concerts with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil. As a capstone to the Centennial and a companion to Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100 - a two-volume, slip-cased coffee-table book addressing the history and future of the LA Phil - Deutsche Grammophon will also release a 32-CD / 3 DVD box set of LA Phil recordings, including concerts from 1928 through the present. Also scheduled for release in the 2018/19 season is a new 2-CD set of the music of John Williams, conducted by Dudamel in celebration of his friend and colleague. Later releases will include Dudamel conducting Schumann Symphonies Nos. 1-4 recorded in May 2018, and Andrew Norman’s Sustain, premiered to rave reviews by the LA Phil last season. The new recordings feature audiophile sonics by Grammy- Award®-winning producer and engineer Dmitriy Lipay.
Gustavo Dudamel said: “As the LA Phil begins its second century, and me, my second decade, you can see that we have reaffirmed our commitment to recognizing and respecting the past and redefining the future of classical music. I couldn’t be prouder of this season, which is as beautiful, diverse, inclusive, and eclectic as Los Angeles itself. “
Simon Woods said: “This season, we bring together the extraordinary, multifaceted artistic personality of Gustavo Dudamel, the superb quality of our orchestra, and the unsurpassed brilliance of the artists we gather around us week after week, into a thrilling landscape of the familiar, the new, and the familiar looked at in new ways. And beyond all this, the LA Phil continues to step boldly into the future with intensely thought-provoking programming that brings people together not only around music, but also around ideas and issues of deep human relevance. We take very seriously the role we can play in contemporary life and our commitment to being an integral part of the communities in which we perform.”
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Fall 2019 with Dudamel
The season begins with Dudamel leading seven programs that showcase the astonishing breadth of his musical sensibilities and the virtuosic range of the LA Phil. Two programs dedicated to American Icons and rooted in the music of Copland will take contrasting approaches to the theme. The first, October 3 through 6, will include Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite, Gershwin’s Concerto in F with Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist, and the world premiere of a work commissioned by the LA Phil from its former Music Director André Previn. Next, from October 10 to 13, Copland’s Rodeo will be paired with the world premiere of another LA Phil commission, Esteban Benzecry’s Piano Concerto, “Universos Infinitos,” with acclaimed Argentinian soloist Sergio Tiempo.
On November 1, 2, and 3, Dudamel will pair Bruckner’s awe-inspiring Symphony No. 4, “Romantic”, with repeat performances of Andrew Norman’s LA Phil-commissioned Sustain. Yuja Wang joins Dudamel November 7 and 8 for a program featuring Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and John Adams’ LA Phil-commissioned piano concerto, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? Dudamel concludes a very busy fall November 30 and December 1, with a program of The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Seong-Jin Cho.
Autumn Concerts with Salonen and Mehta
In the days before the Gala, Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead a program on October 18 and 19 featuring the world premiere of his newest work, Castor, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (with soloist Daniel Lozakovich), and one of his signature works with the LA Phil, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. Following the Gala, Zubin Mehta will carry forward the momentum on October 25, when he will lead the orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorus, soprano Kristin Lewis and mezzo-soprano Mihoko Fujimura in a performance of Mahler’s overwhelming Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.” The next day Salonen will conduct Sibelius’ Lunnotar (featuring soprano Golda Schultz) and Symphony No. 5, plus the world premiere of his complete Castor and Pollux, commissioned by the LA Phil.
Susanna Mälkki Returns with Premieres and Special Guests
In her third season as Principal Guest Conductor, Susanna Mälkki will bring her revelatory touch to beloved works of the historic repertoire, premieres by some of today’s leading composers, and a tribute to the late Oliver Knussen. On December 6, 7, and 8, she will conduct Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” and Knussen’s Violin Concerto, with soloist Leila Josefowicz. On December 10, Mälkki and Josefowicz will return with Knussen’s Reflection as part of a program they are co-curating, showcasing the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group.
On April 24, 25, and 26, Mälkki will offer the U.S. premiere of Felipe Lara’s Double Concerto, an LA Phil commission, featuring Claire Chase on flute and the Esperanza Spalding on bass, paired with Holst’s The Planets. On April 30, May 1, and May 3, Mälkki will conclude her tenure this season with another U.S. premiere—an LA Phil commission by Kaija Saariaho—and Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite, interpreting four stories from the Finnish national saga.
Tchaikovsky and Copland with Michael Tilson Thomas
Long-time LA Phil favorite Michael Tilson Thomas will join the orchestra for a holiday-season engagement December 12 through 15. With the virtuoso Daniil Trifonov, MTT will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, paired with Copland’s Symphony No. 3, with its theme based on the composer’s Fanfare for the Common Man.
Celebrate the New Year with Zubin
On January 1, the LA Phil will present its first Viennese-style New Year’s Day concert. Zubin Mehta, who honed his craft in Vienna and is an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera, will lead a buoyant program of pieces by the Strauss family and others, joined by soprano Chen Reiss.
Mehta's Mahler, Wagner, and More
To open the new year, on January 3, 4, and 5 Zubin Mehta will lead three more performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.” He will then return to the podium on January 10, 11, and 12 with superstar soprano Christine Goerke for a program starting with selections from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Rhine Journey, Funeral Music, Immolation Scene) and then moving to music of the 2nd Viennese school, gradually reducing in scale to end with Webern’s concentrated Concerto for Nine Instruments.
Adams Conducts Adams and Wolfe
Creative Chair John Adams will lead a performance of his own LA Phil-commissioned Naïve and Sentimental Music January 18 and 19, paired with the world premiere of an LA Phil commission by Julia Wolfe: Flower Power, an evocation of the radical temper of the 1960s, with the LA Phil joined by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, plus psychedelic visuals.
Emanuel Ax and Beethoven
Making her LA Phil debut, guest conductor Nathalie Stutzmann leads the orchestra on January 24 through 26 in an all-Beethoven program, featuring the Coriolan Overture, Symphony No. 5, and Piano Concerto No. 3 with the great Emanuel Ax as soloist.
The Weimar Republic: Germany 1918-1933
In two wide-ranging and dramatic programs, Esa-Pekka Salonen will explore the musical culture of Germany’s brilliant and troubled Weimar era. On February 7, 8, and 9, with violinist Carolin Widmann, Salonen will explore the mixture of historic and modern styles and influences in Weimar-era music, as heard in Weill’s Violin Concerto, Hindemith’s Rag Time (On a Theme of J.S. Bach) and Mathis der Maler Symphony, and Schoenberg’s masterful orchestral arrangements of two chorale preludes by J.S. Bach.
As the climax of the Weimar Republic programs, February 13 through 16, Salonen will lead full stagings of two of the era’s darkly satirical musical-theater works: Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Hindemith’s Murderer, the Hope of Women. Collaborating with Salonen on the productions will be renowned actor-writer-director Simon McBurney and his equally distinguished brother, composer- writer-scholar Gerard McBurney.
Ives and Dvořák with Dudamel
Many of Dudamel’s programs over the past decade have been based in the unexpected pairings of composers – the juxtaposition opening up new ways of listening and revealing often-unpredictable connections between artists. This season, Dudamel will pair Charles Ives’ four symphonies with Dvořák’s iconic final three.
Ives marked a new era in American music, while Dvořák used a model of European invention to “introduce American music to itself.” Both made enormous contributions to our understanding of what American music could be, thanks, in part, to their respect for vernacular expression.
In a four-program mini-festival extending from February 20 to 29, the programs will offer all four of Ives’ symphonies, as well as The Unanswered Question, pairing them with Dvořák’s symphonies 7, 8, and 9 (From the New World). To continue the exploration, members of the orchestra will perform chamber music by Ives and Dvořák in a more intimate concert on March 3.
Power to the People!
In one of the season’s most ambitious and exciting initiatives, Dudamel collaborates with Herbie Hancock in curating a two-week festival, Power to the People!, from March 5 to 24. Bringing together composers, performers, and poets representing a wide range of musical streams and social-justice movements, whose creativity bridges the humanitarian convictions of half-a-century ago and today, the festival will welcome The Movie Music of Spike Lee & Terence Blanchard, superstar vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant with her song cycle Ogresse, pianist Conrad Tao, composer Ted Hearne with his staged oratorio Place (an LA Phil commission, co-produced by Beth Morrison Productions), and a special Symphonies for Youth program for families. Additional programs to be announced at a later date.
Sunday in the Park with George
In honor of the 90th birthday of Stephen Sondheim, Dudamel and the LA Phil will present a fully staged new production of one of the greatest musicals of all time, Sunday in the Park with George. The production, directed by Zak Winokur, will be performed May 7-10 and 14-15.
Green Umbrella Concerts
Continuing its steadfast commitment to the future of music, the LA Phil will present six Green Umbrella concerts in the 2019/20 season, guided by Creative Chair John Adams, with the final program coinciding with the annual Noon to Midnight marathon.
The series - now the longest-running of its type anywhere - is devoted this season to creative collaborations. The programs will pair
John Adams with cellist Jay Campbell (Nov. 5), featuring works by Sky Macklay (world premiere), Marc Sabat (world premiere), Eric Wubbels, Tristan Perich, and Gabriella Smith.
Susanna Mälkki with violinist Leila Josefowicz (Dec. 10), in tribute to Oliver Knussen, featuring music by Knussen, Jonathan Harvey, Huw Watkins, Colin Matthews and Helen Grime.
Daníel Bjarnason with pianist Vikingur Ólafsson (Feb. 4), with Bjarnason conducting the U.S. premieres of his own LA Phil-commissioned song cycle and an LA Phil-commissioned work new work by Thuridur Jonsdottir, a U.S. premiere by Bent Sørensen, and pieces by Saariaho and Takemitsu.
Ted Hearne with poet Saul Williams and director Patricia McGregor (March 24) in the West Coast premiere of Place (also part of the Power to the People! festival)
and David Bloom with composer Du Yun (April 21), with works that include new world premieres (LA Phil commissions) by Mazz Swift, Du Yun, and Rajna Swaminathan, plus existing works by Vicente Alexim, Carlos Gutiérrez Quiroga, and Aida Shirazi.
The anchoring concert for the concluding Noon to Midnight festival on June 6 will be a program of music by Steve Reich, culminating in the West Coast premiere of the composer’s collaboration with painter Gerhard Richter. Working with filmmaker Corinna Belz, Richter has created an animated stream of images based on his abstract painting 946-3, which interprets Reich’s music and is interpreted by it in turn. Noon to Midnight will also include performances by members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.
Dudamel Conducts Mozart and Mehldau
Equal parts improviser and formalist invested in the architecture of music, the highly-regarded jazz pianist Brad Mehldau has forayed outside the genre in recent years, but his Piano Concerto, commissioned by the LA Phil, will be his most ambitious step to date. On May 16 and 17, Dudamel will give Mehldau’s U.S. premiere an elegant frame with Mozart's Overture to Don Giovanni and Symphony No. 40 surrounding it.
Dudamel Conducts Norman and Prokofiev
On May 21 and 22, pianist Emanuel Ax will join Dudamel for a performance by the outstanding L.A.- based composer Andrew Norman of his piano concerto, Suspend. On May 23 and 24, Dudamel will lead the orchestra in two more works by Norman - Unstuck and the world premiere of his Cello Concerto, featuring soloist Johannes Moser - on a program with Prokofiev’s imposing and inspiring Symphony No. 5, now a cornerstone of the 20th-century repertoire. Combined with Dudamel’s pairing of Norman and Bruckner earlier in the season, these concerts constitute a mini-festival of one of today’s most outstanding and popular young composers, and director of the LA Phil’s Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program.
Bringing the season to a climax, from May 28 through 31, Dudamel will lead the LA Phil at full force and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Schoenberg’s immense, lush, late-Romantic masterpiece Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre Castle): an epic, poetic tale of a tragic love triangle.
Jazz, World Music, and Songbook
Jazz concerts in 2019/20, curated by Herbie Hancock, will feature a celebration of Wayne Shorter with members of his quartet and special guests Terence Blanchard, Kenny Garrett and Joe Lovano on April 5, plus West Coast trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire playing selections from his album Origami Harvest; Christian McBride and Laurie Anderson in collaboration with cellist Rubin Kodelhi on January 21; and a big-band line-up of the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the Anat Cohen Tentet on April 19. Hancock, Dudamel and the LA Phil will perform together on March 5 in a continuation of the Power to the People! festival.
World Music programs will range from the British duo The Cinematic Orchestra on November 23 and Tune-Yards on January 31 to The Chieftains in their Irish Goodbye Tour on March 1 and Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones - Family and Friends Celebrate the Centenary of Ravi Shankar on May 19.
The Songbook series this season will include an evening with Melissa Etheridge on November 16, an acoustic evening with Jason Isbell on January 10 and a performance by Cécile McLorin Salvant of her song cycle Ogresse on March 15 (also part of the Power to the People! festival).
Sylvan Esso presents “WITH,” a special concert that finds them expanding on their emotionally wrenching electro-pop with warm full-band arrangements. Performing in collaboration with eight of their favorite musicians, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn will reimagine their music from the ground up – a wholly exceptional experience. Hand Habits open the show. (November 14)
Distinguished Guest Artists
During the 2019/20 season, Walt Disney Concert Hall will also welcome an exceptional roster of guest artists. Recitalists will include violinist Joshua Bell (October 30), violinist Ray Chen (November 6), pianist Yuja Wang (February 18), pianist Hélène Grimaud (February 26), pianist Conrad Tao (March 10), participants from the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival (March 22), pianist Yefim Bronfman (April 1), and pianist Lang Lang (April 26). Organists include Jane Parker-Smith (November 3), Christian Schmitt (January 12), Wayne Marshall (February 23), and Monica Czausz (May 24).
Ensembles scheduled to take the stage are the Academy of Ancient Music (December 11), Hespèrion XXI/La Capella Reial de Catalunya led by Jordi Saval (February 2), Boston Baroque (April 8), the Chinekel Orchestra with pianist Stewart Goodyear (April 15), and Les Violons du Roy (May 3).
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About the Los Angeles Philharmonic - The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber, and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education, and community programs.