Proceeds from the Evening will Support
the LA Phil and its Learning Programs Including
YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles)
The Gala concert was made possible with the proud support of Rolex.
LOS ANGELES (October 6, 2023) — The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel returned to the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage for the LA Phil Gala: Celebrating Frank Gehry, on Thursday, October 5, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. This historic event, which marked the 20th anniversary of the iconic venue, featured Gustavo Dudamel and special guests, including the LA Phil’s Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock, dancer and choreographer Lucinda Childs, GRAMMY Award-winning R&B singer H.E.R. and violin soloist Geneva Lewis.
Raising more than $4.35 million for the LA Phil and its Learning and Community Initiatives (including YOLA), which serve more than 150,000 youths, families and teachers every year, the evening kicked off the LA Phil’s new season and began with the arrival of notable celebrities and VIPs: Frank Gehry, Matt Groening, Helen Hunt, Crystal Kung Minkoff, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Christoph Waltz, and John Williams, among others. Local officials in attendance included Speaker Emeritus of the California State Assembly Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kevin de Leon, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and City of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. They were joined by LA Phil Board Chair and Gala Co-Chair Thomas L. Beckmen; Gustavo Dudamel with María Valverde; LA Phil Gala Co-Chairs Breck and Georgia Eisner, Lisa Field, Robyn Field and Anthony O’Carroll, Antonia Hernandez, Winnie Kho and Chris Testa, Diane and David Paul, Kristin and Jeff Worthe; and LA Phil Interim CEO Daniel Song, along with more than 780 Gala patrons.
The pre-concert cocktail reception was held in the Blue Ribbon Garden, where guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in a specially designed space. During the reception, Supervisor Solis presented Frank Gehry with a scroll to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Guests also enjoyed the Modeling Sound exhibit presented by Getty and on view in Walt Disney Concert Hall’s BP Hall from October 5–29, 2023. Modeling Sound showcases six architectural models of Walt Disney Concert Hall at various stages of its design to explore the realization of this important Los Angeles institution and explore the critical role of modeling in Gehry’s architectural practice. Modeling Sound is free and open to ticket holders prior to LA Phil concerts and open to the general public when the building is open for tours. Complementing Modeling Sound is the digital exhibition Sculpting Harmony that explores the design history of Walt Disney Concert Hall through drawings, sketches, photographs and models drawn from the extensive Frank O. Gehry Papers at The Getty.
Gala guests and concert attendees then moved into Walt Disney Concert Hall for the concert performed by the LA Phil with Gustavo Dudamel. Honoring Gehry’s iconoclasm with performances by iconoclasts in their own fields, the evening’s program took guests on a journey from Walt Disney Concert Hall’s storied beginnings to the architect’s oceanic inspirations, immortalized in the building’s steel sails and unprecedented sense of movement. The prelude from Bach’s Partita in E, the first piece performed in the then-still-under-construction Hall, opened the program with violin soloist Geneva Lewis, followed by Esa-Pekka Salonen’s transformation of its melody into his piece FOG composed in 2019 for Frank Gehry on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and accompanied by Lucinda Childs, who performed her own original choreography. Gehry’s love of the sea, orchestral music, and jazz was reflected in performances of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, songs from GRAMMY Award-winning R&B singer H.E.R., and LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who concluded the program with Debussy’s La mer. After a lengthy standing ovation and confetti drop Dudamel and the LA Phil performed Poulenc’s Allegro giocoso from the Concerto for Organ in G Minor, with special guest organist Paul Jacobs.
Post-concert festivities were held on Grand Avenue. The dinner party décor featured vibrant aquatic hues with anthurium and tropical florals. The gourmet menu was created by Chef José Andrés from The Conrad Los Angeles and wines provided by Ashes & Diamonds and Laurel Glenn Wines. Remarks were given by LA Phil Board Chair Thomas L. Beckmen, LA Phil Interim CEO Daniel Song, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. Guests then enjoyed projections on the surface of Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the evening continued with dancing on Grand Avenue hosted by the legendary DJ Derrick “D-Nice” Jones.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Gala Committee included Gala Co-Chairs Judy and Tom Beckmen, Breck and Georgia Eisner, Lisa Field, Robyn Field and Anthony O’Carroll, Antonia Hernandez, Winnie Kho and Chris Testa, Diane and David Paul, Kristin and Jeff Worthe.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s LA Phil Gala: Celebrating Frank Gehry was created by Sequoia Productions and the LA Phil’s Special Events Team.
All Gala proceeds support the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its learning and community programs, including YOLA, the signature program of Gustavo Dudamel. The Gala concert was made possible with the proud support of Rolex.
The celebration continues on October 24, in a live program at Walt Disney Concert Hall that will feature LA Phil Conductor Laureate and current San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, who led the orchestra during the design and opening of the Hall, in a special conversation and performance event with Frank Gehry. The program, Modeling Sound: An Evening of Music and Conversation with Frank Gehry and Esa-Pekka Salonen will bring together the two friends and collaborators to explore the ways in which music informed the design of the Hall and how architecture has, in turn, impacted the musical performances heard in the venue. The conversation will be punctuated by musical performances and moderated by the Getty Research Institute’s Senior Curator and Head of Architectural Collections Maristella Casciato.
Going forward, the celebratory 2023/24 season features several major initiatives envisioned by Dudamel, including the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music, a two-week, statewide festival of music written within the past five years from around the world; the launch of a two-year retrospective on the music of the movies curated by composer John Williams; a fully staged production of Wagners’ Das Rheingold; the return of the acclaimed collaboration of the LA Phil, Tony Award®-winning Deaf West Theatre, the Dudamel Foundation and El Sistema's Coro de Manos Blancas (White Hands Choir) in Beethoven's Fidelio, created for both Deaf and hearing audiences; and the continuation of the Pan-American Music Initiative curated by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz. The 2023/24 season welcomes an all-star lineup of guest conductors and soloists, with Dudamel leading 12 programs.
12 world premieres of LA Phil commissions are performed during the 2023/24 season: two works by Gabriela Ortiz, a symphony by Jonathan Bailey Holland, Timo Andres' piano concerto for Aaron Diehl, and works by Samuel Adams, Alejandro Cardona, Francisco Cortés-Álvarez, Zosha Di Castri, Miguel Farías, Veronika Krausas, Saad Haddad and Andreia Pinto-Correia. U.S. premieres include Thomas Adès' Tower for Frank Gehry, Oliver Leith's Last Days, a 90-minute opera inspired by Gus Van Sant's film of the same name and co-directed by Matt Copson and Anna Morrissey, Enno Poppe's work Fett, Esa-Pekka Salonen's Fanfare and Ileana Perez Velazquez's work Columnas de Luz.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
Thursday, October 5, at 7 PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall,
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
LA Phil Gala: Celebrating Frank Gehry
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
GUSTAVO DUDAMEL, conductor
HERBIE HANCOCK, Creative Chair for Jazz
GENEVA LEWIS, violin
BACH Partita in E: Preludio
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN FOG
HERBIE HANCOCK Maiden Voyage
H.E.R. with LA Phil
DEBUSSY, La mer
The 2023 Opening Night Gala and Concert was made possible with the proud support of Rolex.
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About the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multigenre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.
Anna Ress, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Bellamore, Crescent Communications email@example.com