The Los Angeles Philharmonic turns 100 this year and the orchestra has a lot of big events planned for the centennial season.
Some of the upcoming highlights include:
- California Soul, the opening night concert and gala on September 27, 2018 at 7 pm. This start to the season is a celebration of Golden State creativity, from John Adams to Frank Zappa.
- Celebrate L.A., an all-day free event on September 30, 2018. Walt Disney Concert Hall will be connected to the Hollywood Bowl in a giant street festival. The event ends with a concert at the Bowl, featuring Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and very special guests.
- WDCH Dreams, the opening week of concerts from September 27- October 6, 2018. Walt Disney Concert Hall will take the spotlight as media artist Refik Anadol transforms the Hall through projections on its steel skin using light, data and machine intelligence that allows materials from the LA Phil’s digital archives to “dream."
The Philharmonic's Chief Operating Officer, Chad Smith, who oversees programming, said this season, the orchestra is turning to its city for inspiration.
"The celebration of our 100th anniversary, we want it to be less about us and more about the amazing city that we occupy and that we share space with and the incredible creative talent that populates our stages. So throughout the season you'll see a real focus on Los Angeles."
This year orchestra is also looking to expand its audience by increasing inclusivity and making its concerts and programs more accessible, Smith said.
The Philharmonic has a goal of doubling the number of students in its "Youth Orchestra L.A.", which provides free music instruction to young people in under-served communities. In honor of the centennial season, Smith said there will also be a program called "100 for the 100," giving away 10,000 free tickets to various concerts this year.
"Historically there are lots of barriers that have been put up to people exploring and enjoying classical music and orchestral music, and one of those is an economic barrier, sometimes it's viewed as being very expensive... So we're trying to create that idea that our music is and can be accessible to the widest population of Los Angeles."
Smith said that it was the orchestra's responsibility was to expose as many people as possible to music, and that means expanding their programing to include a wider array of artists and musical styles.
As the Philharmonic looks back at its 100 years, Smith said the group's biggest achievement is being an example of success to others in the industry.
"The orchestral world tends to get beat up a little bit, and I think what we have found is if you program boldly and if you engage deeply with your community and you support the philanthropic community and you engage with community parters, it can be a success."