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The Los Angeles Philharmonic has canceled its fall 2020 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall through Dec. 31, following guidance from public officials amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The LA Philharmonic’s music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, along with David C. Bohnett chair chief executive officer Chad Smith, announced the cancellation Thursday alongside a set of media partnerships and digital initiatives to make LA Phil’s work more accessible. The decision follows the Hollywood Bowl, the Ford and Walt Disney Concert Hall going dark because of the pandemic.
“The silencing of our music has been deafening. I have been working nonstop since March, here in California, to find new, safe and impactful ways to address how we will adapt to the many challenges we are facing as both an institution and an art form,” Dudamel shared in a statement. “I believe that the LA Phil is uniquely equipped to address this ever-changing situation: We have always spoken about a ‘culture of the new’ in Los Angeles, and we intend now to embrace that ideal with a renewed commitment and passionate energy.”
Dudamel added that he has spent time with the LA Phil’s orchestra, board and staff to create media and broadcasting projects with partners, record socially distanced performances, and continue teaching Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (known as YOLA) students.
“The arts must now play a stronger role than ever in our new society, and I join alongside all of our allies, never ceasing to hope, dream and work toward better times,” Dudamel said. “The music we make is for everyone. It unites us in our diversity and comforts our souls in moments of crisis. I hope that our offerings delight and inspire, and look forward to seeing everyone in brighter days, when we can gather and share our music together again.”
Smith added in a statement, “Under Gustavo’s leadership, we are finding creative ways forward during an otherwise uncertain time. We are leveraging established media partnerships, doubling down on YOLA, and taking an ideas-driven approach to our programming. The future of the LA Phil is very much a reflection of the values Dudamel embodies as an artistic leader. These investments will enable us to bring music, learning programs and important conversations to the largest audience possible in Los Angeles and beyond.”
“We are grateful for the leadership of our Board and for the ongoing support of donors who make our work possible. We are also fortunate to have the collaboration of our innovative orchestra in moving this work forward, as well as some of the finest media and programming partners in their fields. The projects we announce today will serve the public both now and long after we celebrate the reopening of Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford,” he said.
Broadcast and online programs announced today include In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl, a six-episode television series hosted by Dudamel, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Streaming Concert Series, which will feature (as public health guidelines allow) a series of concerts at the Hollywood Bowl for online streaming.
The LA Phil also announced Thursday the YOLA National and Online Learning Hub, which will provide free, open-source courses and masterclasses with LA Phil musicians and keynote addresses by Dudamel and Thomas Wilkins. The symposium’s content is available on-demand via YouTube and the LA Phil website to anyone who registers online.
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