LA Phil’s filmed gala, reflecting the times

Posted on: February 10, 2021

“The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s inimitable galas open each season with an audacious mishmash of reverence and irreverence, flash and substance, populism and glamour,” writes Mark Swed in Tuesday’s (2/9) Los Angeles Times. “Obviously, ‘Icons on Inspiration,’ the L.A. Phil online benefit that began a monthlong stream over the weekend, can’t be that kind of gala…. But ‘Icons’ does redefine what an online fundraiser can be, as Gustavo Dudamel interacts with the likes of rapper Common, pop star Katy Perry, Latin Grammy-winning Carlos Vives, actress Natalie Portman, pianist Yuja Wang and actual icon Julie Andrews…. Dudamel … conducts the lullaby from Stravinsky’s ‘The Firebird.’ … The captured firebird of the ballet is here freed by the music. What was empty feels filled. Distanced players communicate as though elbow to elbow…. Dudamel opens … with [Jessie] Montgomery’s … splashy ‘Starburst,’ and he follows it with the ‘Martin Luther King’ movement from [Ellington’s] ‘Three Black Kings.’ … YOLA members join the L.A Phil in Venezuelan composer Aldemaro Romero’s ‘Fuga con Pajarillo.’ [In] the last movement of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony … aerial shots of the Bowl and of surrounding L.A. make the orchestra look like an oasis.”