New home under construction for LA Phil’s YOLA inspires hope for systemic change in classical field

Posted on: December 14, 2020

Young musicians in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA).

“Last month, architect Frank Gehry and Los Angeles Philharmonic CEO Chad Smith gave me a masked hard-hat tour of the nearly finished Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood,” writes Mark Swed in Thursday’s (12/10) Los Angeles Times. “Gehry’s reimagining of an abandoned bank building … the YOLA Center [is] intended to serve music students from Inglewood and surrounding communities [as a home for] Youth Orchestra Los Angeles … Gustavo Dudamel’s educational initiative begun in 2007…. When it is up and running… you will see young musicians from the community rehearsing or performing … in an airy, light-filled, sophisticated, gorgeous state-of-the-art building … Orchestras … have the imperative of creating an innovative online presence to hold onto patrons … all while taking on new and timely repertory, particularly that of composers of color…. For real systemic change, we need a real system in place, something solid and lasting. YOLA is that system. It trains talent and attracts audiences…. It generates enthusiasm, broadens horizons and inspires commitment…. There are YOLA grads to prove it attending college and working for the L.A. Phil. Someday in the not distant future, grads will be playing in the orchestra.”