Los Angeles Philharmonic Barbican International Associate residency 2018 with Gustavo Dudamel, Wed 2 – Fri 4 May 2018, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Barbican Centre for a residency from 2 – 4 May 2018, featuring three concerts with Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. He will lead the orchestra through varied programmes including a Barbican co-commissioned European premiere by Esa-Pekka Salonen, a Green Umbrella concert including works by Ted Hearne, Julius Eastman and Frederic Rzewski and a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday year with a performance of his Chichester Psalms. The residency will also feature a cross-cultural exchange involving young musicians from Los Angeles and Great Britain working with Dudamel as part of a national youth conference, exploring the role of music and the arts in young people’s lives and how it can affect change in their society.
The residency opens on Wednesday 2 May 2018, with a programme including the European premiere of Pollux, a new Barbican co-commissioned work by former LA Phil Music Director Esa Pekka-Salonen, which will receive its world premiere in LA on 13 April 2018. As with many of his previous works, Salonen is writing this new one specifically for the LA Phil musicians, whom he knows so well. Also part of this concert’s programme is Shostakovich’s epic Fifth Symphony and Edgard Varèse’s Ameriques, which offer two different perspectives on 20th-century musical history. Varèse composed Amériques after moving from France to New York in 1915. Assembled from self-contained “blocks” of music placed against one another in the manner of Stravinsky, this piece for large orchestra quickly builds up elemental power, inspired by the composer’s experience of New York City. Varèse used the title Amériques to symbolize “discoveries – new worlds on earth, in the sky, or in the minds of men.” Shostakovich’s powerful Fifth Symphony is his most popular work, but also the focus of tremendous speculation and controversy. The composer had been denounced by Stalin, so Shostakovich desperately needed a come-back piece that would satisfy strict Soviet demands; this was a life-and-death matter. At its premiere, the Symphony proved an unprecedented triumph, appealing equally – and remarkably – to both the public and official critics; the ovation lasted well over half an hour.
In the second concert as part of the LA Phil Barbican residency, on Thursday 3 May 2018, the LA Phil New Music Group and conductor Gustavo Dudamel will perform radical minimalist 1970s repertoire featuring Frederic Rzewski’s Attica and Julius Eastman’s Evil Nigger as well as Ted Hearne’s 2013 Law of Mosaics. This performance is part of Green Umbrella, the LA Phil’s acclaimed series of new music. The concert also forms part of the Barbican’s 2018 Season, The Art of Change. The European premiere performance of Ted Hearne’s Place, which was initially planned for this concert date, has been postponed due to unforeseen delays in the creative process. Co-commissioned by the LA Phil, Barbican Centre and Beth Morrison Projects, Place will now receive its world premiere in New York from 10 – 13 October 2018.
On Friday 4 May 2018, the final night of the residency, the orchestra celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday year with a performance of the composer’s choral masterpiece Chichester Psalms with the London Symphony Chorus. Chichester Psalms is juxtaposed with Beethoven’s Symphony No 9, which has become a touchstone of Western civilization and a musical icon. These two very different hymns to joy are separated by 141 years, but both are works in which tradition is transformed and renewed.
Earlier in the day, the Barbican will host a public-facing open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel and 150 members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s Inspire Orchestra and members of the Youth Orchestra of LA in the European Premiere of Arturo Márquez's Danzón No. 9. During the open rehearsal there will also be the unveiling of a Youth Manifesto, a publication written and inspired by the thoughts of 40 young people from Britain, alongside 10 young people from America (all aged 14 – 18) on the future of the arts and nurturing music for future generations. The manifesto, published as a book, will be available for distribution in the UK and the US.
The morning event, entitled Tuning into Change, is the culmination of a six-month-long Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning project, which included interactive workshops examining the role young artists hope to play in shaping society in an uncertain and fast-changing world. Tuning Into Change is delivered in partnership between the Barbican and Los Angeles Philharmonic with Bristol Plays Music, Sistema Scotland, Sage Gateshead and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. The scheme is also part of Sky Arts' landmark funding initiative Sky Arts 50, as well as the Barbican’s own 2018 The Art of Change series.
The LA Phil, with Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, has been named the Barbican’s International Orchestral Partner for three seasons, beginning in 2019/20 (forming part of the orchestra’s extraordinary global tour spanning three continents). This new status will cement the flourishing partnership between the ensemble and the Barbican, and will include annual extended residencies in London, combining concerts, creative learning programmes, collaborations and partnerships. The LA Phil / Barbican partnership began in 2013 with the orchestra named as one of the Centre’s International Associates, presenting a series if biennial residencies, which have now evolved into a new chapter from the 2019/20 season onwards.
Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the LA Phil said: I am so excited about our collaboration with the Barbican. It is a great institution – truly a center of reference for the orchestral world. And that we get to take the whole LA Phil family and show off so many of our musical offerings, makes it especially appealing. We feel so comfortable, after all, who wouldn’t want a second home in a city as dynamic as London with an organization as vibrant as the Barbican.