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  • LA Phil Humanities Initiative announces 'Rachmaninoff Was Here' new public program series, Feb. 2, 11 and 18
  • Jan. 5, 2023
  • YUJA WANG JOINS GUSTAVO DUDAMEL
    FOR ALL FOUR RACHMANINOFF PIANO CONCERTOS

     
    Feb. 9-12 and 16-19, 2023, at Walt Disney Concert Hall

     
    LA Phil Humanities Initiative announces

    new public program series, Feb. 2, 11 and 18, 2023

     
    RACHMANINOFF WAS HERE:

    THE GOLDEN AGE OF BEVERLY HILLS BOHEMIANISM

     
    Tickets on sale Thursday, Jan. 5, at 10 a.m. PST



    LOS ANGELES (Jan. 5, 2023)Showstopping pianist Yuja Wang joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, in a tribute to Sergei Rachmaninoff featuring all four of his virtuosic piano concertos, as well as the beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and the composer’s final orchestral work, Symphonic Dances, across two weekends, Feb. 9-12 and Feb. 16-19, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    “Listening to his music, it’s just the most sensuous and passionate thing. I don’t know where he got it,” Wang has said of Rachmaninoff. “Every time I play his music, it’s a gift.” 

    In celebration of this historic pairing, the LA Phil Humanities Initiative has teamed up with Beverly Hills cultural historians to offer Rachmaninoff Was Here: The Golden Age of Beverly Hills Bohemianism, a series of public programs inviting audiences to explore the artistic communities that were flourishing during the composer’s brief but important time in the Los Angeles area.

    When the Russian-born Rachmaninoff and his family took up residence in Beverly Hills in 1942, he entered a creative community of musicians, authors and filmmakers—many of whom were also émigrés, having fled Europe at the start of World War II. It was a time of incredible artistic and intellectual activity nurtured by the salons and private performances taking place in Beverly Hills homes, gardens and estates, including Rachmaninoff’s own.
     
    The LA Phil Humanities Initiative is generously supported by Linda and David Shaheen.

     

    Complete Chronological Events Listing:
    The Beverly Hills Songbook
    Rachmaninoff Was Here opening event
    Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m.
    The Maybourne Beverly Hills
    225 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    From Virginia Robinson’s lavish parties featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic to George and Ira Gershwin’s weekly salons, Beverly Hills was the center of popular music in the early 20th century. The American songbook was written in its living rooms; and collaborations that would shape music, film and fashion got their start at its social gatherings. The Beverly Hills Songbook celebrates the immense musical legacy of the world-famous city, from Rachmaninoff and Horowitz’s weekly at-home performances to the standards popularized by such acclaimed residents as Cole Porter, Harold Arlen and Rosemary Clooney.

    Reception takes place from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by panel and performance from 8 to 9 p.m.

    Gavin Martin, piano
    Doug Peck, piano
    Zakiya Young, vocals
    Kristi Brown-Montesano, panelist
    Phil Savenick, panelist

     

    Yuja Wang & Dudamel: Rachmaninoff Concerto 1
    Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m.
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    The First Concerto reveals a young, ambitious composer defining his style and honing his voice. Completed when he was an 18-year-old student at the Moscow Conservatory and revised 26 years later after he had become a worldly, refined artist, the First offers Rachmaninoff’s characteristic romantic style and the unabashed showmanship one might expect from a youthful virtuoso eager to show off his skills. In the program’s second half, Dudamel moves from one of Rachmaninoff’s first pieces to one of his last. Composed while he was living in the United States, Symphonic Dances was his final orchestral piece and drew on his life’s work with nods to sacred chants and his own earlier music while looking toward the new harmonic language of the 20th century.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
    Yuja Wang, piano

    RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 1
    RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

    Concerts in the Thursday 2 subscription series are generously supported by the Otis Booth Foundation.

    This performance is made possible by the generous support of the Elaine and Bram Goldsmith Great Artists Fund.

     

    Yuja Wang & Dudamel: Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody
    Friday, Feb. 10, at 11 a.m.
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    In describing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Yuja Wang said she hears many sound worlds unfolding over the work’s 24 variations: the shadowy darkness of Mussorgsky, the transparent clean structure of Mozart, moments reminiscent of Chopin’s Préludes, and others that feel like a jazz jam session between piano and orchestra. In the program’s second half, Dudamel leads one of Rachmaninoff’s most-loved works, written while he was living in the United States. Symphonic Dances was the composer’s final orchestral piece and drew on his life’s work, with nods to sacred chants and his own earlier music while looking toward the new harmonic language of the 20th century.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
    Yuja Wang, piano

    RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
    RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

     

    Beverly Hills Avant-Garde: From Surrealism to the Sunset Strip
    Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m.
    Beverly Hills Women's Club
    1700 Chevy Chase Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    For Beverly Hills in the early 1940s, experimental ideas in the arts could be found in the nearby community of surrealist artists who had been displaced by World War II, including Man Ray, Dorothea Tanning and Salvador Dalí, as well as in a triumvirate of nightclubs that dominated the Sunset Strip. Art historian Susan Anderson wrote that the surrealists brought “black humor, the off-the-wall whimsy of pop culture, and a liberating strain of Dada” to the region’s art. At the same time, the Café Trocadero, Ciro’s and Mocambo were serving up nightclub acts that pulled from a wide range of cultural traditions, becoming incubators for artistic innovation and cross-cultural integration. Beverly Hills Avant-Garde: From Surrealism to the Sunset Strip invites you to learn more about this vibrant period with an evening of food, conversation, music and magic. 

    Reception takes place from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by panel and performance from 8 to 9 p.m.

    Parisa Parnian
    Rob Zabrecky
    Ryota Yamazaki, piano
    Sarah Parra, flamenco dancer

     

    Yuja Wang & Dudamel: Rachmaninoff Concerto 2
    Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m.
    Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m.
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    One of the most beloved piano showpieces in the symphonic repertoire—used in too many films to list—Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 emerged from a terrible case of writer’s block. After being depressed by his First Symphony’s critical flop, the composer turned to hypnotherapy to break his internal logjam. What resulted was an outpouring of captivating melody, unfolding seemingly effortlessly with lush romantic harmony, that earned breathless praise at its premiere. In the program’s second half, Dudamel leads one of Rachmaninoff’s most-loved works, which he wrote while living in the United States. Symphonic Dances was the composer’s final orchestral piece and drew on his life’s work with nods to sacred chants and his own earlier music while looking toward the new harmonic language of the 20th century.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
    Yuja Wang, piano

    RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
    RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances

     

    Yuja Wang & Dudamel: Rachmaninoff Concerto 3
    Thursday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m.
    Friday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m.
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Yuja Wang told NPR there is a quality to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 that reminds her of the jazz piano of Art Tatum, in which the pianist sits alone at a keyboard, improvising on a single idea that grows into something amazingly complex. About The Bells, Rachmaninoff said, “All my life, I have taken pleasure in the differing moods and music of gladly chiming and mournfully tolling bells.” This work was inspired in large part by the poem of that name by Edgar Allen Poe. Each movement evokes a different flavor of bells connected to life stages and the passage of time—from sleigh bells to wedding chimes to a mournful funereal peal. Dudamel leads the LA Phil and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in this gorgeous and haunting choral symphony.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
    Yuja Wang, piano
    Mané Galoyan, soprano
    Simon Bode, tenor
    Alfred Walker, bass-baritone
    Los Angeles Master Chorale
       Grant Gershon, artistic director
       Jenny Wong, associate artistic director

    RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30
    RACHMANINOFF The Bells

     

    Rachmaninoff’s Beverly Hills
    Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m.
    Greystone Mansion & Gardens
    905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    Although his time in Beverly Hills was brief, Rachmaninoff made the most of its pleasures– enjoying gardening, cars and a circle of artists and luminaries who inspired one another. On any day, Rachmaninoff could be found playing piano duos in his living room with Vladimir Horowitz or dining with new friends such as Igor Stravinsky. Taking place at Edward Doheny’s historic Greystone Mansion & Gardens, Rachmaninoff’s Beverly Hills invites audiences to explore various aspects of the composer’s local life through a screening of Walt Disney’s The Opry House and other early music-inspired cartoons, a lecture on Rachmaninoff’s friendship with Stravinsky, and an intimate musical performance. A progressive event, the program will begin in the Greystone’s recently restored theater, move into its courtyard and conclude in the mansion’s living room. 

    Keenan Reesor, guest lecturer and pianist
    Ryota Yamazaki, piano
    Jerry Beck, animation historian

     

    Yuja Wang & Dudamel: Rachmaninoff Concerto 4
    Saturday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m.
    Sunday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m.
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    In this finale to the Rachmaninoff piano concerto cycle, Wang and Dudamel perform the rare Fourth. Still lush and full of romantic melody, this concerto is rhythmically complex and makes the orchestra a more equal partner to the piano than his other concertos. About The Bells, Rachmaninoff said, “All my life, I have taken pleasure in the differing moods and music of gladly chiming and mournfully tolling bells.” This work was inspired in large part by the poem of that name by Edgar Allen Poe. Each movement evokes a different flavor of bells connected to life stages and the passage of time—from sleigh bells to wedding chimes to a mournful funereal peal. Dudamel leads the LA Phil and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in this gorgeous and haunting choral symphony.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
    Yuja Wang, piano
    Mané Galoyan, soprano
    Simon Bode, tenor
    Alfred Walker, bass-baritone
    Los Angeles Master Chorale
       Grant Gershon, artistic director
       Jenny Wong, associate artistic director

    RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 4
    RACHMANINOFF The Bells

     

    Tickets: Rachmaninoff Was Here public programs will go on sale at 10 a.m. PST on Thursday, Jan. 5, at laphil.com and by phone at 323 850 2000. Concerts were previously announced as on sale. Programs, artists, dates, prices and availability are subject to change. For up-to-date safety information, visit laphil.com/safety.

     

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    About The Maybourne Beverly Hills
    Situated within Beverly Hills’ famous Golden Triangle, The Maybourne Beverly Hills, part of Maybourne Hotel Group (Claridge’s, The Connaught, The Berkeley, The Maybourne Beverly Hills and The Maybourne Riviera), is a sophisticated escape from the hustle and bustle of the famous city on our doorstep; a rare and special place to unwind, right in the heart of Beverly Hills. Our spa is an unparalleled place of serenity and relaxation while on our roof, you’ll discover a rooftop pool bordered by cabanas, and sun-dappled views of the Hollywood Hills. The Terrace restaurant, overlooking the lush Beverly Cañon Gardens, offers cocktails and seasonal California-inspired cuisine, where you can sit, sip and dine as the world passes by.
     
    About the LA Phil
    Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.  
  • Contact:
    Sophie Jefferies, sjefferies@laphil.org
    Holly Wallace, hwallace@laphil.org
    Kassie Winchester, kwinchester@laphil.org
    Laura Cohen, lcmediapr@gmail.com