Expectations have been rather high for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2018/19 season. After all, they’ve had some rather impressive seasons leading up to it, and you’d guess that they’d make an even bigger splash for their 100th Anniversary season. The full season announcement was to have been made this morning
Alas, we’ll have to wait a couple of days more before we learn all of the details. Word is that technical glitches have delayed the announcement, and that the announcement will now be made on Wednesday, Feb 7, instead.
It’s worth remembering that the LA Phil already held a large press event in November which teased the Centennial Season quite a bit. Among the reveals, they:
- Hinted at the new season, including: 14 weeks by current Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, two-week visits by prior Music Directors Esa-Pekka Salonen (a Stravinsky series) and Zubin Mehta (A Brahms cycle featuring soloists Yefim Bronfman and Pinchas Zukerman), current Principal Guest Conductor Susanna Mälkki (including full productions of The Tempest in partnership with Barry Edelstein, Artistic Director of San Diego’s The Old Globe), and former Principal Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Former Music Director André Previn is too old to travel to L.A. from his home in Europe, but he is writing a new piece for the orchestra to be played in Fall of 2019
- Announced that 50 commissions (!!) by the likes of John Adams (LA Phil Creative Chair), Julia Adolphe, Billy Childs, Unsuk Chin, Natacha Diels, Ashley Fure, Philip Glass, Adolphus Hailstork, Andrew Norman, and Steve Reich, among others, will be performed over the course of the season
- Mentioned that the entire Green Umbrella series is said to be made up entirely of world premieres commissioned by the orchestra, with Herbie Hancock (LA Phil Creative Chair for Jazz) leading his first Green Umbrella concert featuring works by Billy Childs and Vijay Iyer, and Mr. Adams leading a “Noon to Midnight” potpourri concert
- Made some announcements about new community and education initiatives, most notably one by John Lofton, the orchestra’s bass trombone, of a new Resident Fellows Program
- Played some music, including a world premiere of a trumpet fanfare by Andrew Norman, cheekily titled, NEW WORK, and played with astonishing yet unsurprising virtuosity by Principal Trumpet Thomas Hooten, and the whole brass section assembling for Witold Lutosławski’s Fanfare for Los Angeles Philharmonic
- Revealed an ambitious $500 Million centennial fundraising campaign, of which roughly $300 Million has already been raised. Not only will this fund help pay for the current and future ambitions of the orchestra, it is intended to fully endow all the musician’s chairs
- Said that the actual 100th Birthday gala concert on October 24, 2019, would be jointly conducted by Messrs. Dudamel, Mehta, and Salonen
That amount of hype raises expectations high, excitingly and potentially dangerously so. How will the full season seem in comparison?
Barring any more unexpected hiccups, we’ll find out on Wednesday.