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  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Presents “Tapes Rolling: David Swedlow Records the Hollywood Bowl (1954-1959)”
  • Jun. 14, 2019
  • New Exhibition at the Hollywood Bowl Museum

    Opens June 15, 2019

    Los Angeles, CA (June 14, 2019) – The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association today announced a new exhibition at the Hollywood Bowl Museum, “Tapes Rolling: David Swedlow Records the Hollywood Bowl, 1954-1959.” Launching June 15 in conjunction with the opening of the 2019 summer season and the continuing Centennial celebrations of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the exhibit showcases recordings of the orchestra made by David Swedlow. It will be on view through the spring of 2020.

    David Swedlow was a pioneer in the world of acrylics manufacturing. This plastics inventor was also an early high-fidelity enthusiast who, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, bought and assembled professional audio components. Swedlow customized an Ampex tape recorder for an extraordinary personal project: to capture the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing live. Beginning in July 1954 and continuing for the next six seasons, Swedlow recorded 246 concerts, both at Philharmonic Auditorium and at the Hollywood Bowl, using his experimental three-track machine. 

    Swedlow’s collaboration with the LA Phil was groundbreaking from a technological standpoint, as his system preceded standard consumer two-track recording, which wasn’t introduced until 1958. This exhibition presents landmark performances that have only been heard, until now, by those who attended the concerts. Five listening stations offer nearly 100 selections from these concerts, click here for the full list.

    Considered by experts and historians the crown jewel of the LA Phil’s Archives, the David Swedlow collection is a rare document of the orchestra’s activities in the late 1950s. The collection features performances by legendary conductors and soloists such as Bruno Walter, Leontyne Price, Walter Gieseking, Leopold Stokowski, Michael Rabin, Birgit Nilsson, Nina Simone, Pierre Monteux, Thomas Schippers, José Iturbi, Leonard Bernstein, Nat “King” Cole with Nelson Riddle, Robert Merrill, and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, among others. The concerts led by Dutch conductor Eduard van Beinum, the LA Phil’s music director from 1956 to 1959, are, for connoisseurs, the high point of the collection.

    “Tapes Rolling: David Swedlow Records the Hollywood Bowl, 1954-1959” honors Swedlow’s trailblazing legacy and offers a new appreciation of the LA Phil’s analog past.

    During the summer season, June through September, the Hollywood Bowl Museum is open Tuesday–Saturday (10:00 AM until show time) and Sundays (4:00 PM until show time). Off-season, September through June, the Hollywood Bowl Museum is open Tuesday–Friday (10:00 AM until 5:00 PM) and closed Saturday-Monday and on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Click here for more information. Admission is FREE all year.

    Please visit here for a look at the complete Hollywood Bowl history, a comprehensive timeline of the landmark venue, featuring archival images and videos, some of which have never been on view to the public.

    The Hollywood Bowl 2019 summer season begins with Opening Night at the Bowl featuring John Legend on June 15. Subscriptions and individual tickets for the entire season are available now at, or via credit card phone order at 323 850 2000, and in person at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office.


    About the Hollywood Bowl

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2018, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the 14th year in a row at the 29th Annual Pollstar Awards and in November 2018 was awarded the Top Amphitheater prize at the 2018 Billboard Live Music Awards for the second consecutive year. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer.


  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213 972 3422
    Press Office,, 213 972 3034