A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Phil. / Photo courtesy of the LA Phil

The 2012-13 season of the LA Philharmonic begins with the Opening Night Gala, titled “The Philharmonic Dances,” on Thursday, Sept. 27, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program features the LA Phil led by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, performing music by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Adams, and Bernstein and accompanied by dancers from American Ballet Theatre, LA’s own Bodytraffic dance company, and Broadway.

Sept. 28, 29 & 30

Without taking a breath, Dudamel officially starts the season the very next night, performing no less than Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (along with the world premiere of a Steven Stucky symphony). And we’ll bet that he does so scoreless.

Oct. 4-7

Then with only a few days rest (Dudamel rest?), he begins a four-night series of all-Beethoven concerts featuring two piano concertos (Nos. 1 and 3 on alternate nights) with Leif Ove Andsnes as soloist, and the mighty Symphony No. 3, Eroica.

Oct. 11-14

The following week, Dudamel and the LA Phil depart from the usual fare with a performance of two works with video accompaniment, the complete Mother Goose Suite by Ravel and the fantasy opera setting of Where the Wild Things Are by Oliver Knussen.

Oct. 19-21

For three concerts, pianist Lars Vogt joins guest conductor Robin Ticciati for a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the Symphony No. 2 by Sibelius.

Oct. 26-28

The up-and-coming French violinist Renaud Capuçon will join up-and-coming conductor Daniel Harding and the LA Phil in three concerts of the Korngold violin concerto and the Mahler Symphony No. 5. It will be interesting to compare his performance to that of Dudamel’s last year during his Mahler cycle.

Oct. 30

To finish out the month of October, Zubin Mehta will bring his ensemble, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, back to Disney Hall for one night to perform Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (with the sensational Yuga Wang as soloist), and the Brahms Symphony No. 1.

Nov. 2-4

Baltimore Symphony Music Director Maris Alsop conducts three concerts featuring works by Samuel Barber (Essay No. 2) and Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 6, Pathétique).

Nov. 8-10

The renowned Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos will return to Disney Hall for three concerts, with a complete performance of Manuel de Falla’s opera La Vida Breve. Also on the program is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.

Nov. 13

LA Phil’s Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to his old stomping grounds this season for several performances. He brings his new band, the Philharmonia Orchestra, to Disney Hall for a complete performance of Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck.

Nov. 16-18

Frühbeck de Burgos sticks around for a series of three concerts of two works by Haydn, the Symphony No. 6, Le Matin, and the Cello Concerto in C with cellist Lynn Harrel, as well as the Suite Española by Albéniz and Ravel’s Bolero.

Nov. 23-25

November moves to an end with a series of three concerts featuring the young Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko, who will conduct the Greig Piano Concerto with Macedonian pianist and audience favorite Simon Trpčeski, as well as the Shostakovich Symphony No. 10.

Nov. 30

The final concert in November, however, belongs to Salonen, who will conduct a series of concerts celebrating the centenary of composer Witold Lutoslawski, with two fourth symphonies, Lutoslawski’s and Anton Bruckner’s, Romantic.

Dec. 4

Resident Conductor with the LA Phil Lionel Bringuier will join the celebration of the Lutoslawski Centenary with a Green Umbrella performance of two of the composer’s works, his Partita and the Chantefleurs et Chantefables, along with works by Stucky and Salonen.

Dec. 7-9

The Lutoslawski Centenary continues with three concerts conducted by Salonen of Les espaces du sommeil by Lutoslawski, the Piano Concerto in A minor by Schumann with soloist David Fray, and a tone poem, Francesca da Rimini, by Tchaikovsky.

Dec. 13-16

The fall orchestral part of the season closes fittingly with four concerts by the LA Phil with Zubin Mehta conducting, in celebration of his 50th anniversary with the orchestra. Look forward to performances of Hindemith’s Symphony: Mathis der Maler and the Symphony No. 7 by Dvorák.


Oct. 17 & 24

Hungarian pianist and renowned Bach expert Andras Schiff begins a multi-season survey of Bach’s solo keyboard works with the first two books of The Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach. (The cycle continues on April 17 with a performance of the Bach French Suites and the French Overture.)

Nov. 7

French pianist Hélène Grimaud performs works by Mozart (Sonata No. 8), Lizst (Piano Sonata in B minor), Berg (Sonata Op. 1), and Bartok (Romanian Folk Dances).

—Henry Schlinger, Culture Spot LA

For more information and a full schedule of concerts, visit www.laphil.com.