Hollywood Bowl’s summer of 2021: a joyful return of music

Posted on: October 7, 2021

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic rehearse at the Hollywood Bowl, May 2021. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

“The most relevant maxim at the moment … is absence makes the heart grow fonder,” writes Mark Swed in Monday’s (10/4) Los Angeles Times. “This summer, when the lights went down, communal attention was directed at the stage to a degree of focus I had never before witnessed at the [Hollywood] Bowl. It was as if a bolt of lightning had struck and awakened all to the fact that music is what we had missed…. The music was made by an L.A. Phil unwilling to take any note for granted…. Six of the seven guest conductors were former Dudamel fellows… Thomas Wilkins, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s music director, wore his well-fitting classical hat in an illuminating program that revolved around Black composers…. [Gustavo] Dudamel has become a magisterial, if still youthfully exuberant, music director who takes everything he conducts with great seriousness and great joy…. On Tuesday, he ended the season with a commanding, incisive performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 that, if released as a recording, would be competitive with the best … In his music, Mozart manifested a world of ‘new crowned hope,’ and that could have been the motto of the Bowl this summer.”