Facing the future at the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Posted on: February 19, 2015

As part of its ongoing “Inside the L.A. Phil” series, on Sunday (2/15) the Los Angeles Times published Jeffrey Fleishman’s article about “the challenges the L.A. Phil faces if it is to remain one of the nation’s most innovative and financially strong orchestras. In coming years, the Phil will have to expand its audience beyond the older, well-to-do season-ticket holders who have been its foundation for nearly a century.… The L.A. Phil’s success—it has the largest budget of any U.S. orchestra—has kept it from feeling the full force of these problems. But its leaders recognize it must change if it is to remain on top.… ‘We have to set a tone and excitement around classical music that it’s not just for an elite group of people who want to get dressed up on Thursday nights,’ said Diane B. Paul, chairman of the Phil’s board of directors.… The L.A. Phil started a model of El Sistema—Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, or YOLA—in 2007 as part of its courtship of [Gustavo] Dudamel, who became music director two years later. Serving hundreds of lower-income children, many of them from immigrant families, the program is the Phil’s most visible effort to reach out to Latinos.… Bringing more cultural balance to the Phil ‘will be critical,’ said [President and CEO Deborah] Borda. ‘Right now we’re building toward that.’ ”

Posted February 19, 2015