The Los Angeles Philharmonic is getting ready to kick-off their 2011/2012 winter season with an all-Gershwin gala this evening. Gustavo Dudamel will be conducting Cuban Overture, An American in Paris, and Rhapsody in Blue with the 71-year-young Herbie Hancock serving as the distinguished soloist. (If you can’t make it to Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight, the concert will be broadcast live on 91.5 FM KUSC and streamed online by both KUSC and American Public Media).
According to various sources, Thomas Hooten will be joining the orchestra as guest principal trumpet for this concert, staying on for the weekend’s subscription concerts, then returning later in the month for more subscription concerts and the orchestra’s trip to San Francisco. Mr. Hooten will not be the only musician unfamiliar to regular LA Phil audiences. A quick scan of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s online roster shows that all the moves I mentioned in my previous posts (HERE, HERE, and HERE) have become official. Two of the newcomers happened to have been quite busy over the past couple of months
First Associate Concertmaster Nathan Cole isn’t truly new since he has been playing with the orchestra since the first part of the Hollywood Bowl summer season. He did take some time off to be Music Director of Chamber Music Festival of Lexington in some well-reviewed concerts (the Lexington Herald-Leader commenting, among other things, that “it’s exciting to anticipate what his innovative leadership of this festival will bring us in the future”). In addition, he and his wife, violinist Akiko Tarumoto, played their last concerts with the Chicago Symphony while on tour in Europe, getting special acknowledgement and warm wishes from Riccardo Muti at the final rehearsal in Vienna’s Musikverein.
Another incoming musician was also notably busy during the past couple of months — in a very different part of the world. Andrew Bain, the new Principal Horn, just wrapped up a five concert tour of New Zealand as part of the Nautilus Trio. Before that, he played in the Australian World Orchestra, a pick-up ensemble composed of Australians now playing in various parts of the world, in that group’s first concerts ever. Murray Black of The Australian praised the AWO: “The strings, in particular, were extraordinary, with intensity and tonal variety rivaling the best I’ve heard. The brass also impressed with their powerful and resplendently polished sound.”
In addition to the welcome additions, there were other interesting things to note:
- Daniel Rothmuller, Associate Principal since 1975, will be moving back into the section with a new title: Associate Principal Emeritus. The orchestra will hold auditions for his replacement this weekend. With this and Peter Stumpf’s previously announced leave, don’t be surprised to see “Ninja Cellist” Ben Hong — recently returned from his sabbatical — sitting first chair for the year.
- Auditions for a new Assistant Principal Viola will be held later in October.
- Two other musicians will be away for the season: Percussionist James Babor on sabbatical, Fourth Horn Bruce Hudson on leave.
- It’s been quite a while since the orchestra has listed which players have been “on leave.” The standard practice for the past few years has been to only list the players “on sabbatical.”
Now you know the players. Quiz will be forthcoming.
- LA Phil comings and goings (part 1 of 3): As the Principal Cello chair turns . . .
- LA Phil comings and goings (part 2 of 3): In search of a new Principal Trumpet
- LA Phil comings and goings (part 3 of 3): new faces — and two familiar ones — come to town
- Andrew Bain: Nautilus Trio
- Daniel Rothmuller: Los Angeles Philharmonic