LA Phil’s Simon Woods on orchestra’s history and future at 100

Posted on: June 4, 2019

“As the Los Angeles Philharmonic gets ready to celebrate its centennial in October, it’s cultivating the next generation of musicians through the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles,” reports Denver Frederick in a Friday (5/31) interview with Los Angeles Philharmonic CEO Simon Woods in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “Q: You’ve been a leader in melding the artistic with social justice and education and other contemporary issues of concern. How do you embed that into these performances? Woods: … We commissioned 50 new works for the centennial. About one-third of them were by composers of color…. Los Angeles County is only about 30% white. The impetus to really think hard about these issues is stronger there than maybe anywhere. Q: The actual centennial day [of the LA Phil] is October 24th of this year. Woods: We have a big centennial gala [planned with] Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Zubin Mehta … all conducting together in a piece … by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason.… We will always play Beethoven and Mahler and Shostakovich and Bach and Mozart…. But I think it is a completely false choice to think that we cannot, as we do that … really make sure that we are there for all the community.”

Posted June 4, 2019

In photo: The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel in performance. Photo by Vern Evans