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A Toast to Dudamel – A Night of Schubert at the Disney Concert Hall

Gustavo Dudamel        Photo Credit: LA Phil

Gustavo Dudamel - Photo Credit: LA Phil

It was an evening to remember at the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall where we were treated to an evening of Schubert, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

The performance started with Luciano Berio (Italy) and Franz Schubert (Austria), and was followed by Berio with soprano Dawn Upshaw on vocals. During the intermission, I stopped by the Founders Room for an exciting champagne toast to Dudamel. After the intermission, one of Schubert’s most famous pieces, Symphony No. 8 in B minor D 750. “Unfinished” was performed by the LA Philharmonic led by our new conductor.

At the end of the unfinished piece, the normally sophisticated crowd applauded and yelled, “Dudamel, Dudamel” as if we were at a rock concert. Patrons were able to meet Dawn Upshaw at the LA Phil Store following the performance where she was signing copies of her CD’s.

Across the street from the Disney, a huge tent was erected with guests from all over the country celebrating MOCA’s 30th birthday. It was truly a cultural evening in the city of Los Angeles.

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A Fond Farewell to Salonen

When I moved to Los Angeles, I feared giving up the cultural life I led living in Manhattan. Frequent visits to the Met, Lincoln Center, and the Guggenheim would become a distant memory as I moved to a city with year-round sunshine and easy weekend getaways.

However, when the Walt Disney Concert Hall opened in 2003, I felt my life filled with culture once more and became a loyal subscriber. Just yesterday, I bid a fond farewell to Esa-Pekka Salonen, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

It was a fully packed house at the Gehry designed Disney Concert Hall, where LA Phil enthusiasts saw Esa-Pekka conduct his farewell concerts this past weekend.

Salonen, who spent the last sixteen years at the LA Philharmonic as its music director, is leaving the helm to concentrate on his composing career.

I attended his farewell performance on Saturday evening where he conducted two pieces by Stravinsky. The first was “Oedipus rex” and after the intermission we were treated to “Symphony of Palms.” The stage was built out into the audience to accommodate the grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale who accompanied the LA Phil musicians.

It was the longest standing ovation in the history of the Disney Concert Hall which opened its doors in October, 2003.?

For an interactive experience highlighting the musical director’s 17 years, visit?www.celebratesalonen.com