When an international jury picked the world's 10 best orchestras, three American groups made the cut - and now you can hear one of them, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, every Wednesday at 7 on IPR Classical. The orchestra took a gamble in 2009 when it hired the youngest music director in its history - Venezuela's Gustavo Dudamel, then just 28 - and that bet more than paid off. Together Dudamel and the orchestra have won major music awards and enjoyed a chemistry so "right" that the contract was extended to 2022.
Our LA Philharmonic broadcasts begin tonight with selection from the orchestra's "Beethoven Unbound Festival," including the Fifth and Sixth ("Pastoral") Symphonies. In future weeks, Dudamel will lead Stravinsky’s groundbreaking The Rite of Spring, Mahler’s epic Third Symphony, Mozart's Requiem, Copland's Appalachian Spring, and much more, including several premieres. Other highlights this season include:
- A concert led by the orchestra's new assistant conductor, a 30-year-old Lithuanian woman named Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (who is about to begin her tenure as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra);
- The orchestra's Creative Chair, John Adams, conducting his Scheherazade.2, with the violin solo played by MacArthur "genius" Leila Josefowicz (for whom Adams wrote the piece);
- Ludovic Morlot conducting a work he premiered, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean, by John Luther Adams (who uses his middle name so as not to be confused with that Creative Chair just listed...)
One other gamble the orchestra took in recent years was to build a new concert hall, and that also turned out well: the new space, one critic said, lets the group's "sound really bloom." Tune in to hear just how much it blooms - tonight and every Wednesday at 7!