The Los Angeles Philharmonic released details today of this year’s Hollywood Bowl season (press release HERE and complete chronological list of performances HERE). Nothing particularly Earth-shattering in the 2013 rendition of the popular Southern California summer venue’s line-up or format. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.
The biggest surprises for me:
- The USC Trojan Marching band will NOT be performing as part of the annual “Tchaikovsky Spectacular.”
- No Rhapsody in Blue or American in Paris, though Gershwin is represented by his Cuban Overture and the Porgy and Bess: Symphonic Picture.
There are more than a few noteworthy concerts planned. Here is a brief list of the concerts that caught my eye for one reason or another (listed in chronological order, with all orchestral concerts being performed by the LA Phil unless noted otherwise):
- The three 4th of July concerts feature the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West — besides being a nice patriotic touch, they happen to be a very good band. . . . Oh yeah, also appearing will be the LA Phil and Josh Groban: let’s hope they perform these gems, which I feel are among Mr. Groban’s best work . . .
- July 9 & 11: Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony and native Angeleno, makes his way back down The 5 (or The 101 and/or PCH, depending on your route of choice) to kick-off the Tuesday/Thursday classical music series; the Mahler 2nd Symphony takes up the first night; the second night includes the Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dubinushka, and the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham.
- July 14: guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela return to the Cahuenga Pass for the first time since their triumphant 2011 Hollywood Bowl debut.
- July 23: The Rite of Spring (!) makes an appearance at the Bowl on a program which also features Stravinsky’s Fireworks and the excellent Augustin Hadelich in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducts.
- Aug 1: The Perglosi Stabat Mater isn’t often performed anywhere, let alone at the Bowl, but Bernard Labadie conducts it this summer as part of a concert which also includes the Haydn 104th (“London”) Symphony. Karina Gauvin and Ann Hallenberg are the vocal soloists in the Perglosi.
- Aug 13 & 15: Gustavo Dudamel leads two performances of Verdi’s Requiem, with Julianna Di Giacomo (soprano), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), Vittorio Grigolo (tenor), and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (bass-baritone) as the auspicious quartet of soloists.
- Sept 3: LA Phil musicians Nathan Cole (First Associate Concertmaster) and Carrie Dennis (Principal Viola) take center stage for Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364. The affable Nicholas McGegan conducts the concert which includes other works by Mozart and Beethoven
- Sept 5: The LA Phil co-commissioned the Diavolo dance company for choreography to accompany Glass’s Symphony No. 3. That work, titled Fluid Infinities, will receive its world premiere at the Bowl in a dance-themed concert alongside performances of The Chairman Dances by John Adams and selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliette. Bramwell Tovey conducts.
- Sept 10: Daniil Trifonov, Grand Prix winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition along with a number of notable other accomplishments, finally makes his much -anticipated LA Phil debut with the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto. Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts a program which includes the two Gershwin works mentioned above, plus the West Coast premiere of a new work by Adam Schoenberg.
- Sept 12: As usual, a young conductor makes his LA Phil debut during the Bowl season. This year’s lucky candidate — or bit of canon fodder, depending on your point of view — is Jakub Hrůša, leading Šárka from Má vlast by Smetana and Dvořák’s 6th Symphony. Simon Trpčeski, rapidly becoming one of my favorite pianists, joins him as the soloist in Prokofiev’s knuckle-busting 3rd Piano Concerto.
Finally, this little observation: the LA Phil has once again decided not to name a “Principal Guest Conductor at the Hollywood Bowl.”