How Gustavo Dudamel and LA Phil will kick off centennial with Gwen Stefani – San Bernardino Sun

Following a shortened season with a limited capacity in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic returns to the Hollywood Bowl in 2022 to celebrate the venue’s 100th season, with multiple performances led by music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel.

“The Hollywood Bowl, it changed my life completely,” Dudamel said during a recent interview backstage at the venue. The Venezuela native came to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time in 2005 as a guest conductor and in 2009 he signed on as the music director.

“I got this wonderful gift, and that was another family,” he continued. “A family of creativity, of beauty, of art, of music and all of that. We have lived many wonderful projects. We are still crossing a pandemic and we had to stop playing music with an audience, but then coming back now, it’s like a renaissance and everything feels new again with this wonderful flavor.”

Now and Gwen

While the venue has already hosted some outside events, the LA Phil’s curated batch of shows officially launches on Friday, June 3 with a stacked evening of music that includes Dudamel and the LA Phil performing “Centennial Overture,” a piece written by movie composer and frequent Hollywood Bowl performer, John Williams, specifically for the anniversary. The evening will also feature an appearance by Italian ballet star Roberto Bolle and musicians from Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, or YOLA.

Novena Carmél will deliver a set with dance trio Let It Happen, followed by singer-songwriter and No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani, who will join Dudamel and the LA Phil to perform her solo material and No Doubt hits including “Don’t Speak” and “Hollaback Girl.” Putting their traditional rivalry aside for the evening, the UCLA Bruin and USC Trojan marching bands will perform together for the first time ever. And, of course, there will be a massive fireworks finale.

Stefani joins a long list of artists that have collaborated with the LA Phil to have mainstream hits arranged by the orchestra. The very first pop star to perform with the orchestra was Frank Sinatra in 1943. In recent years, Broadway star Cynthia Erivo, R&B singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist H.E.R. and singer Christina Aguilera have all teamed up with the orchestra, and L.A.’s own Billie Eilish collaborated with Dudamel and the LA Phil for her Disney+ concert film experience, “Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles,” which was released last year.

Dudamel said it brings him joy to be able to work with these artists and give audiences a taste of classical music.

“We celebrate breaking the walls of thinking that classical music is in one box and another type of music is in another box,” he said. “No, I really believe that music is one. We have the opportunity to connect with these wonderful artists and learn and share ideas and create these wonderful, beautiful and unique performances. When I see a new audience, it feels amazing because every reaction, every applause is so genuine and you how they receive the music, it’s incredible.”

Summer highlights

Dudamel said he’s looking forward to all of the performances this year, but he’s most excited about bringing the Paris Opera Ballet to the venue for the first time with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet July 20-21.

“It’s important for me as a music director also in Paris to create an artistic and cultural bridge from Los Angeles to Paris,” he said, referring to his role as music director for the Paris Opera. “It’s wonderful we’re having the chance to bring the ballet, one of the most important ballet companies in the world, to the celebration of this 100th anniversary.”

He’s also singled out the Musical Encounters show on Aug. 2 which will feature Dudamel, multi-instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding, members of YOLA and the Encuentros Orchestra, which features musicians from all over the world.

Other highlights include Ricky Martin with the LA Phil July 22-23; John Fogerty July 30, a-Ha with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra with conductor Thomas Wilkins July 31; Diana Ross Aug. 26-27; Duran Duran Sept. 9,10 and 11; Pink Martini Sept. 14; And Grace Jones with Chvrches Sept. 25.

The Hollywood Bowl will host Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom under the direction of multi-instrumentalist Adam Blackstone and The Roots’ drummer Questlove; the event will feature performances by Earth, Wind & Fire, The Roots, Lucky Daye, Robert Glasper, Billy Porter, Mickey Guyton and Re-Collective Orchestra, the first-ever performance by an all-Black symphony orchestra in the history of the venue on June 19.

Fireworks, Valkyries and $1 tickets

Films screened and played live-to-film with the orchestra have been a summer staple at the venue for decades. That continues this year with John Williams and David Newman conducting the L.A. Phil for Maestro of the Movies: Celebrating John Williams at 90 Sept. 2-4. The Black Movie Soundtrack program also returns for a fourth year with bassist Marcus Miller leading the house band along with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra on Aug. 24.

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