What the LA Phil’s YOLA Center hopes to accomplish in Los Angeles’ Inglewood neighborhood

Posted on: January 3, 2022

Mario Raven, right, leads students in the new home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA program. Photo: Rozette Rago/The New York Times

“Noemi Guzman, a 17-year-old high school senior, usually has to find a corner someplace to practice violin,” writes Adam Nagourney in last Monday’s (12/27) New York Times. “But the other Saturday morning, Guzman joined a string ensemble practicing on a stage here that is nearly as grand and acoustically tuned as … Walt Disney Concert Hall, the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic…. The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center [in] Inglewood, a working-class city three miles from Los Angeles Airport … opened in October, is the first permanent home for the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, and is the product of a collaboration [of] Gustavo Dudamel, the artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which oversees YOLA, and Frank Gehry, the architect who designed Walt Disney Concert Hall…. Inglewood is the fifth economically stressed neighborhood where the youth organization has set up an outpost…. [At] the renovated building … Dudamel has an office. Members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic regularly show up to observe practice and work with students…. ‘We don’t pretend be a conservatory,’ [Dudamel said]…. ‘Our goal is that they have music as part of their life, because it brings beauty, it brings discipline through art.’ ”