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  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces 2023/24 Insight Projects and Festival Curators
  • Sep. 13, 2023
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    LOS ANGELES (SEPTEMBER 13, 2023) - The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association today announced its 2023/24 Insight projects and festival curators. Formerly known as the LA Phil Humanities initiative, Insight is now in its fifth year of offering guest curator-driven festivals, multidisciplinary art projects, publications and digital initiatives that explore the themes which emerge from the LA Phil’s concert programming.

    Meghan Umber, the LA Phil’s Chief Content Officer, said, “One of the things that has always distinguished the LA Phil’s programming is the thoughtfulness and intellect of its Music Directors and the ways in which they inspire our collaborators. Whether its LACMA curator Rita Gonzalez’s contributions to this year’s Pan-American Music Initiative or Peabody Award-winning producer Nadia Sirota’s reflections of the California Festival, the Insight initiative offers us an opportunity to invite guest thinkers into conversation with Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel’s curatorial vision and expand the ways in which we think about music’s importance in contemporary society. We’ve been able to continually build on and expand this work thanks to a community of donors, led by visionary philanthropists Linda and David Shaheen.”

    Julia Ward, Humanities Director, said, “The beauty of the Insight initiative lies in the fact that it is an open invitation – an invitation to a uniquely diverse array of guest artists, scholars and community-based partners to create new avenues for engagement within their areas of expertise. It’s also an invitation to audiences to invest in their own curiosity and discover transformative new ideas and experiences. In this season, we invite audiences, with the help of our guest curators and partners, to reflect on the iconoclastic careers of Pharoah Sanders and Frank Gehry; to consider the role of nightlife in the formation of BIPOC queer communities; and to engage with Latinx artists working at the intersection of music and resistance among other avenues of exploration.”  

    Promises from a Higher Space: Celebrating Pharoah Sanders

    In anticipation of Floating Points’ one-time performance of Promises, his critically acclaimed collaboration with Pharoah Sanders, at the Hollywood Bowl (September 20, 2023), Insight presented a meditative evening of film, poetry and music celebrating Pharoah Sanders’ creative spirit and his deep influence on the Los Angeles creative community in collaboration with Luaka Bop and Floating at the Philosophical Research Center (September 6, 2023). The program included performances by poet Kamau Daáood and DJs Radha and Teebs; a screening of director Trevor Tweeten’s film Promises: Through Congress; an In Sheep's Clothing pop-up record shop; and an exclusive preview of the forthcoming release of Pharoah, Pharoah Sanders’ seminal album from 1977, including two unreleased live versions of his masterpiece “Harvest Time.”

    Promises featuring Floating Points and Shabaka Hutchings will be performed on September 20, 2023 at the Hollywood Bowl

    Modeling Sound, Sculpting Harmony

    To commemorate Walt Disney Concert Hall’s 20th anniversary, Getty presents Modeling Sound and Sculpting Harmony—two exhibitions developed in collaboration with Frank Gehry and the LA Phil Insight initiative.

    On view at Walt Disney Concert Hall from October 5 to 29, 2023, Modeling Sound showcases six architectural models of the concert hall at various stages of its design to highlight the critical role of modeling in Gehry’s architectural practice. Sculpting Harmony, a digital exhibition, features more than 150 models, sketches and archival photographs documenting the concert hall’s development. New research, interviews and innovative 3D media capture reveal the multi-disciplinary process behind the building’s design. Drawn from the extensive Frank O. Gehry Papers at Getty, Modeling Sound and Sculpting Harmony celebrate the realization of this important Los Angeles landmark.

    In conjunction with the exhibitions, Insight will present Modeling Sound: An Evening of Music and Conversation with Frank Gehry and Esa-Pekka Salonen at Walt Disney Concert Hall on the 20th anniversary of the venue’s opening, Tuesday, October 24, 2023. 

    The Modeling Sound exhibition will be on view in Walt Disney Concert Hall’s BP Hall October 5-29, 2023. The exhibition is free and open to ticket holders prior to LA Phil concerts. The exhibition is open to the general public when the building is open for tours. Hours can be confirmed by visiting the Music Center tours page.

    Sculpting Harmony will be available at beginning October 5, 2023.

    The Modeling Sound conversation with Frank Gehry and Esa-Pekka Salonen will take place on October 24, 2023. Tickets are on sale via the LA Phil website now

    Heart of Brick

    Experimental musician serpentwithfeet is joined by MacArthur Fellow Wu Tsang and choreographer Raja Feather Kelly to present Heart of Brick, a theatrical dance and music performance that captures the multi-generational spirit of the Black queer community. In addition to the performance, co-commissioned by Insight, the LA Phil will also host a talk with the artists and a multi-disciplinary art event and club night curated by artists Kumi James and Harmony Holiday and featuring DJs Colored Craig, Sevyn, and BAE BAE

    Heart of Brick will be staged at The Ford on October 21, 2023 at 8pm. Ancillary events will take place on October 14, 2023 at 2220 Art + Archives (club night) and October 19, 2023 at dublab studio (artist talk).

    California Festival

    In conjunction with the California Festival (November 3-19, 2023), the Insight program has commissioned a series of editorial offerings highlighting the visionary figures and lesser-known pathways that have helped shape the state’s storied continuum of contemporary music. Newly commissioned features include in-depth articles, audio programs, visual essays, and original graphic scores from contributors, including acclaimed music journalists Geeta Dayal and Andy Beta, MacArthur Fellow Josh Kun, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Page, pianist and producer Sarah Cahill, GRAMMY Award winner John Schneider, composer M.A. Tiesenga, and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster Nadia Sirota among others.

    The California Festival’s editorial offerings can be found at New features will continually be added in the lead-up to and throughout the festival.  

    Pan-American Music Initiative: Canto en Resistencia

    Curated by LACMA’s head of contemporary art Rita Gonzalez as part of the Pan-American Music Initiative’s focus on feminism and cultural protest, the Canto en Resistencia Insight programs spotlight contemporary Latina artists whose work intersects with the worlds of sound and music. Featured artists include Alice Bag and Guadalupe Rosales among others. In partnership with Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ ALOUD program, author Cristina Rivera Garza will also join the festival, leading a discussion about her most recent work Liliana’s Invincible Summer.

    Alice Bag and Guadalupe Rosales join the Sonic Biographies program taking place at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s BP Hall on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

    Cristina Rivera Garza will speak at the Central Library on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 7pm. Tickets are available via the Library Foundation of Los Angeles website

    Additional events to be announced in October. 

    Last Days

    Curated by Last Day’s co-director and contemporary artist Matt Copson, Insight will host a series of contextualizing events, including a screening of the film Last Days with Gus Van Sant, an exhibition of Copson’s sculptural work, and a limited-edition print piece incorporating material from the opera’s creative collaborators.

    Event details will be announced later this year.

    Fidelio: Insight Symposium

    Continuing the LA Phil’s work with Deaf West Theatre, Insight will host a day-long symposium, combining presentations, films and installations with d / Deaf and hard of hearing artists creating work related to musical expression and experience.

    Event details will be announced later this year.

    Other Activities 

    Throughout the year, Insight will release exclusive artist-designed print projects in conjunction with LA Phil concerts and offer a new email newsletter, containing information about upcoming events and content created by guest curators and artists.

    LA Phil Insight is supported by a generous gift from Linda and David Shaheen.  

    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:

    Los Angeles Philharmonic:
    Lisa Bellamore
    Crescent Communications