Sunday September 24, 2017 5:01 am


YOUR GATEWAY TO OPERA AND CLASSICAL MUSIC
FANFAIRE celebrates CLASSICAL MUSIC!

A CONCERT HALL FOR ALL SEASONS

The 10th anniversary celebration of LA’s most famous millennium landmark continues well into the 2013/2014 season. The slideshow below of some of the photographs we have taken through the years* show why this now iconic (and perhaps forever controversial) building is a shining monument to music–for us the most sublime of the arts–and to the human spirit.
 
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL (WDCH): 2003-2013
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It was 16 years in the making–from Lillian Disney’s initial gifting in 1987 of $50M to the people of Los Angeles for an edifice in memory of Walt Disney and his boundless imagination to its jubilant public unveiling, $274M later, in 2003. Ten years! and it is still a living architectural marvel, to say the least of Frank Gehry’s stainless steel-clad creation that put the City of Angels on the map as a top cultural destination.
 

Watch LA Phil’s snappy 10th Anniversary Celebration video below and get a quick historical perspective on the making of this architectural masterpiece–from a pencil-and-paper doodle to a worthy temple of music where sound resonates with the same richness and clarity–whether emanating from a solo instrument or the full complement of a symphony orchestra, and no matter what the price of your seat.
 

 

And listen to Frank Gehry wonder at how it all happened:

young-woman-with-a-water-pitcher-300It is indeed a wonder how he did it and still does, although of course with a contingent of equally imaginative and technically brilliant collaborators. We can only conjecture that the Saturday mornings spent in his grandfather’s hardware store were gestational in developing his fascination with construction materials, fusing in the most creative way with the passion for music and the arts instilled in him by his parents. Perhaps it is this unique combination of factors that allows Gehry to naturally draw inspiration from 16th- and 17th-century paintings for his 20th/21st-century creations. For example, do you see traces of his buildings in the headdress in Johannes Vermeer’s painting “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher”? Gehry did, and we daresay only he could have made such a connection. A Hieronymus Bosch (ca 1450-1516) painting is yet another inspiration.

Like all works that history has eventually judged to be great, the concert hall is not without its critics and detractors– traditionalists, perhaps, or Gehry wannabees green with secret envy? Who cares? What we’re sure of is WDCH is our favorite concert hall in the world, for the architectural and acoustic qualities already mentioned. But more than that, we love it because it is an organic, living building that changes as it reflects the hues of the sun’s every mood. Always a joy to behold, it can conjure up images of sails billowing in the wind or of hands raised in fervent prayer to the heavens, or of a myriad other images that can splash across one’s mind from an infinity of sightlines and at various times of the day and night. Yes, the building on 111 S. Grand in LA is never exactly the same every single day.

Is it a building in which form dominates function? Ask the regulars – SoCal’s growing community of music lovers (easily more than 2000 per event) for whom a trip to WDCH is always both a pilgrimage and an addiction; or ask anyone of the LA Phil’s outstanding guest artists who perform on its stage – they’re more likely than not to tell you that WDCH is one of the world’s very best. No acoustic detail has been spared to make the spacious yet intimate hall the perfect setting for great music performances, period. And further enhancements are in the works. Has it done anything for the city other than put it on a culture elite’s map? Perhaps it will take years before the pop crowd begins to worship at the altar of classical music, but ask a professional photographer which is the most photographed building in LA; or ask many a happy bride-and-groom which environment they’ve chosen for their wedding photography. Slowly but surely, WDCH is making its way into the center of the public consciousness, and someday its architecture and its music (led by the young, dynamic GUSTAVO DUDAMEL) will take most everyone on an upward journey of the spirit – as it does each time we make our own pilgrimage to this magnificent temple of music. Yes, just its being there is a cause for celebration… always!
- © GJ Cajipe / FanFaire.com

Visit LA Phil’s splendid 10th Anniversary Celebration web pages to LEARN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about WDCH and the LA Phil.

Watch a virtual tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall:

Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 5
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 5
Take a virtual tour in and around Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, home of the LA Phil. The concert hall, which opened in October of 2003, is celebrating 10 years of being one of the world's most iconic buildings. Learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall and the 10th Anniversary celebration at http://laphil.com/WDCH10
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 2
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 2
Take a virtual tour in and around Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, home of the LA Phil. The concert hall, which opened in October of 2003, is celebrating 10 years of being one of the world's most iconic buildings. Learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall and the 10th Anniversary celebration at http://laphil.com/WDCH10
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 3
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 3
Take a virtual tour in and around Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, home of the LA Phil. The concert hall, which opened in October of 2003, is celebrating 10 years of being one of the world's most iconic buildings. Learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall and the 10th Anniversary celebration at http://laphil.com/WDCH10
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 4
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 4
Take a virtual tour in and around Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, home of the LA Phil. The concert hall, which opened in October of 2003, is celebrating 10 years of being one of the world's most iconic buildings. Learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall and the 10th Anniversary celebration at http://laphil.com/WDCH10
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 5
Walt Disney Concert Hall Virtual Tour, Part 5
Take a virtual tour in and around Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, home of the LA Phil. The concert hall, which opened in October of 2003, is celebrating 10 years of being one of the world's most iconic buildings. Learn more about Walt Disney Concert Hall and the 10th Anniversary celebration at http://laphil.com/WDCH10

 
 
The 10th Anniversary Celebration continues with:

TOYOTA SYMPHONIES FOR YOUTH Nov 2 & 9

WORLD MUSIC with MARIZA Nov 12

And don’t miss out on these special November LA PHIL PERFORMANCES:
VIVALDI with ITZHAK PERLMAN in the dual role of conductor an violinist Nov 1, 2 & 3

SHOSTAKOVICH FIFTH with Bramwell Tovey, cond. and Alison Balsom, trumpet Nov 8, 9 & 10

BRUCKNER EIGHTH with Semyon Bychkov, cond. Nov 15, 16 & 17

Zimmermann Plays Dvořák with Manfred Honeck, cond. and Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin Nov 21, 22 & 23

Zacharias leads Bach & Schumann with Christian Zacharias, cond. and Martin Chalifour, violin Nov 29 & 30 / Dec 1

You may also want to read what others think about:

The ARCHITECTURE, 10 years later

WDCH as a INFLUENCE INDICATOR of DOWNTOWN ACTIVITY

WDCH as a WEDDING / SOCIAL EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY ENVIRONMENT

This article starts off a series on great concert halls and opera houses around the world.

* Except for the first (from Wikimedia Commons) and last two photos (courtesy of LA Phil).

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