[LOS ANGELES, JUNE 9, 2004, 10:00 AM] - Los Angeles Philharmonic Association President Deborah Borda, Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, County of Los Angeles Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky, Gloria Molina, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Don Knabe, City Councilman Tom LaBonge, and County of Los Angeles Department of Parks & Recreation Director Tim Gallagher marked the occasion of the completed renovations to the world-renowned Hollywood Bowl this morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on the famed venue's stage.
"The Hollywood Bowl has been one of the world's premier summer music destinations for the better part of a century," said Deborah Borda, President of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. "With the improvements completed, we are now able to support the Bowl's iconic image with state-of-the-art production capabilities, ensuring its future for the next century."
The ceremony, christening the new and improved stage and shell of the Hollywood Bowl, celebrated the completion of the project to rebuild the storied stage and improve the acoustic shortfalls of the previous structure, the fourth in the venue's history, originally constructed in 1929. Numerous attempts to improve the acoustics over the decades since then proved unsuccessful, and in 1996, $18 million was earmarked for improvements at the Hollywood Bowl by Los Angeles County voters when the Proposition A measure was passed.
Phase I of the project, which was completed between Fall 2000 and Spring 2001, included the renovation of the understage areas of the venue, including the foundation work for this new shell. Phase II began in
October 2003, and is now complete, in time for the venue's 83rd summer concert season, which officially begins on June 25, 2004. Executive architects for the project are Gruen Associates; design architects are Hodgetts + Fung; acoustician is Jaffe Holden Acoustics.
"The Hollywood Bowl is the people's amphitheater. Nowhere else can a music aficionado listen to the greatest orchestras and musicians in the world for only $1.00. Nowhere else do the multitude of cultures that make up Los Angeles intersect as they do at the Bowl," County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says. "I have been a patron of the Bowl since my parents brought me here as a young boy. This summer, we celebrate this cultural icon and thank the people of Los Angeles County who voted with their pocketbooks to insure its health and longevity."
This new shell, the fifth in the Bowl's fabled history, has been designed to expand the on-stage performance space and improve the acoustics for performers, creating a spectacular outdoor experience for both musicians and audiences. Lighting and sound technology have been integrated into the new design, restoring a clean visual aesthetic of the 1920s streamline Moderne concentric-ring motif. The new stage includes a built-in turntable, for added ease in producing multi-act performances, and, most notably, an adjustable acoustic canopy, which improves the acoustics for the performers. A new sound system distributes the sound more evenly throughout the audience in all seating areas. In addition, four large projection screens have been added to the sides of the Bowl's stage and in the amphitheater to enhance the overall experience for concert-goers. The combination of the restored design and advanced technology allows both current and future generations to experience music at the legendary Hollywood Bowl for decades to come.
Also new at the Hollywood Bowl this year is The Bowl Walk, a ten-station exhibit around the grounds of the Hollywood Bowl, a Los Angeles County Park. The exhibit features visual displays throughout the park, presenting information on the cultural events, history and architecture of the Hollywood Bowl. The Walk begins at the entrance of the Bowl and concludes inside the theater on the Fourth Promenade at the top of the hill. Ten photographic displays along the pedestrian walkways inform visitors throughout the park: The Muse of Music, Peppertree Lane, Pop & Rock at the Hollywood Bowl, Great Performances, The Shell, The Amphitheater, The Cahuenga Pass Treasure, Flora & Fauna of the Hollywood Bowl, Picnics & Fireworks, and The View from the Fourth Prom. An accessible sign fixed in the plaza area includes Walk information for patrons with disabilities. The exhibit design is by Hodgetts & Fung.
A number of events are planned to celebrate the inauguration of the Hollywood Bowl's new shell. The community is invited to the L.A. Phil's Sneak Peek at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, June 13, a free event which features live music and entertainment, children's activities, and more. The day is designed to welcome ticket buyers to the Hollywood Bowl, and familiarize them with parking, public transportation, dining and picnicking, the Bowl's grounds, seating, and ticket-buying. Programming begins on June 25 with the Opening Night at the Bowl celebration, including the Fifth Annual Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame honors. Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in two programs (July 13 & 15) during the Philharmonic's first week of subscription concerts: a staged adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Mendelssohn's incidental music actors from A Noise Within, and Mahler's monumental "Resurrection" Symphony.
The Hollywood Bowl is owned by the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, in partnership with the County, is responsible for the operation and programming content of the venue during the summer concert season. The nearly 18,000-seat Hollywood Bowl is the premier summer cultural venue in the United States and has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922. The 2004 summer season spans 14 weeks from June 25 to September 21, hosting regular performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and guest conductors, as well as by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under Principal Conductor John Mauceri. The Association also presents the eight week Jazz at the Bowl series, and the KCRW World Festival, as well as popular weekend shows - often with fireworks - and special events, as well as family and educational programs.
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Elizabeth Hinckley, 213.972.3034; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310