Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Los Angeles Philharmonic, 2017-18

Walt Disney Concert Hall, October 2007
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

OMG, the LA Phil's 2017-18 season!!!

A friend in LA very kindly passed along some information to me about five minutes after the season went live around midnight, and OMG I wish I could work from LA for the year. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

Here's a very brief rundown, and note that the repertory must include the Green Umbrella New Music concerts. That's okay; all of this is happening under the aegis of an American orchestra. Nearly every other orchestra whose programming I've seen pales in comparison to this. (As previously noted, I'm very impressed by the adventurous programming of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, nearly all of whose concerts involve the new or unusual.)

There are 81 (EIGHTY-ONE) composers on the season. Of these, 31 are alive. That's right, the LA Phil and its associated programs have a season on which more than one-third of the composers are alive. Not only that, a significant further number composed entirely or primarily in the 20th c. These include Varese, R. Strauss, Eastman, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Sibelius, Zimmerman, Weinberg, Vaughan Williams, Bernstein, Bacewicz, Berg, Debussy, Holst, Martirano, Messiaen, and Shostakovich. (Eastman is JULIUS EASTMAN!!)

They're performing music by nine (9) women, 8 of whom are alive (see Bacewicz, whose music i don't know at all). There's one Asian woman (Chen Yi), one deceased African American man (Eastman), and a number of Mexican and other Latin American composers (one Brazilian man, one Cuban-American woman). There is a festival of music by living Mexican composers, looks like. There are also several living Italians, not all male. There are several works by Esa-Pekka Salonen. There are 23 commissions, 22 world premieres, 6 US premieres, and 2 west coast premieres.

Four women are conducting during the season: Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, Susanna Malkki, Emmanuelle Haim and  Xian Zhang, all of whom have multiple concerts assigned.

I must note that there's no lack of 18th and 19th c. classics. There's Brahms, Mozart, and Beethoven. There's Bach. There's a nice heap of Schumann, including Das Paradies und die Peri and some symphonies. The 18th c. composers are nicely chosen and include Galuppi and Charpentier.

It is an astonishing season. See you at WDCH.


Unknown said...

What is happening at Disney Hall is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more is happening in the downtown new music scene every week. Hard to keep up!

mountmccabe said...

Wow! What an exciting season! There are so many highlights. New works by Tania León and Nico Muhly? Elkhanah Pulitzer directing Bernstein's Mass (which I admit to not knowing, but I'll see anything she directs)?

I really love Grażyna Bacewicz's violin concerto; the 3rd is a particular favorite. Her overture is good, but short.

CruzSF said...

This announcement makes me dread the upcoming SFS announcement even more. I guess money saved here can fund my trips to hear the LAP.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I really need to listen to some Bacewicz!

Craig, yeah. We'll know around 1 p.m. today.

CK Dexter Haven said...

Mind you, this is their 99th Anniversary Season . . . can you even imagine what Dudamel, Borda, et al are planning for the 100th Anniversary season??!!! I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much.

Besides, we're still in the middle of the awesome 2016/17 season, with all kinds of fun left before it ends in June. So much good music, and not enough time.

Lisa Hirsch said...


SF announced yesterday and it is just depressing by comparison.