LA Phil Blog

Orchestra Members

First Time on Tour: The Quest for a "Great" Bass

Bass player Brian Johnson with his "good," faithful bass.

How did we get to Toronto already? I remember the the weeks leading up to tour like they were yesterday. How many pairs of shoes would I need? 2? 6? And underwear? 14 or 47?  

Planning to be out of town for two weeks performing is very different from planning to be gone for two weeks on vacation. I mean, who brings tails to the pool in Hawaii? Not to mention the fact that this is my first tour ... But not to worry, in the end I brought an adequate amount of shoes and undergarments.

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Report from D.C.

Cellist Barry Gold onstage at The Kennedy Center.

If it's Tuesday it must be ... Washington D.C.!!!

Yesterday the Amtrak Acela Express (also known as the Los Angeles Philharmonic) rolled into Union Station and we were quickly whisked away to the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. We then had a total of about four hours to eat, rest and see some sights before another convoy of buses brought us to the Kennedy Center for a 30-minute acoustic rehearsal! And then ... well of course the main attraction followed at 8pm: a concert featuring the Symphony #1 of John Corigliano and the Fifth of Tchaikovsky.

I can report firsthand that the concert was a tremendous success ... The audience standing and applauding so enthusiastically that we had to oblige with an encore: a Polonaise of Tchaikovsky. More ear-shattering applause followed!

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Left Coast, Meet Right Coast

Concert crossroads: Signage captured en route from NYC to D.C.

It's a wrap for us in New York! The LA Phil's Monday night performance inside Avery Fisher Hall marked a fitting end to our first East Coast engagement. So, before we set our sights squarely on the nation's capitol, here's a quick look into what made last night's Manhattan finale so grand:

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The LA Phil Plays Lincoln Center! (Part One)

Composer John Corigliano and Gustavo Dudamel offstage after Symphony No. 1.

The standing ovation following the LA Phil's Sunday afternoon concert was not the orchestra's first 2014 tour triumph, but it was our first (so far!) at New York's City's hallowed Lincoln Center.

As part of that great institution's "Great Performers" series, Gustavo Dudamel led the LA Phil in another moving performance of John Corigliano's First Symphony and a masterfully restrained take on Tchaikovsky's Fifth. (Cue the thundering applause.)

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From Cow Town to Cultural Hub: A Former KC Resident Takes Stock

Thank You, Kansas City! It's Been Vivid!

A panoramic view of Friday night's cheering audience inside Helzberg Hall.

The LA Phil's first time at the Kauffman Center was a huge symphonic success! The crowd went wild for Gustavo Dudamel, the orchestra, the program, and, last, but hardly least, the phenomenal Yuja Wang. Kansas City Star reporter Libby Hanssen also went a little wild for our "vivid" performance! (And for us in general.) 

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On Tour with the Orchestra: A Note from Northern California

Members of the LA Phil Board of Directors, musicians and friends at Darioush Winery.

The San Francisco part of the tour was great! Some 14 board members and their spouses traveled up the coast to enjoy the perfect weather and serve as the most enthusiastic fan club for our beloved LA Phil. We were all so proud of the audiences' incredible responses to our exciting programs, which involved such great new music alongside Tchaikovsky and Brahms. Yuja Wang was also amazing. Both concerts were sold out and received standing ovations.

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We're Ready for Our Kansas City Debut!

Tonight's performance inside Helzberg Hall marks the LA Phil's first-ever Kansas City concert! We're already loving it here ... And not just because of the BBQ special delivery.

"Very Special People" inside the LA Phil's K.C. buses.

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San Francisco Chronicles

Julien Beaudiment
à bicyclette in the city
of Jack Kerouac.

Playing in San Francisco was a delight. Although it's always hard to change halls. Switching from Disney Hall to Davies Hall is never easy. The Corigliano symphony was actually so well received. I am sure this music particularly rings a bell here. There was a standing ovation, the orchestra was magnificent and Gustavo was very inspired. Then Tchaikovsky, Brahms ... All went well. The acoustics in Davies Hall are much dryer than in Disney, which, in a way, makes it easier to listen to your colleagues. I could hear things in San Francisco I couldn't hear in L.A., which was interesting.

After playing our first two tour concerts in San Francisco, we were so lucky to have a free day in Jack Kerouac's city.

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City by the Bay, We Salute You!

Gustavo Dudamel and members of the orchestra celebrate the SF finale.

We're 2 for 2 in San Francisco! The LA Phil's second night at Davies Hall yielded a second standing ovation from the audience after the orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel and Yuja Wang concluded Wednesday's program featuring Daníel Bjarnason's new work Blow Bright, Brahms' Second Symphony and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.

Orchestra and audience in a mutual salute after Wednesday night's performance.

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