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  • HB
  • Jun. 20, 2008
  • Action-Packed Evening Features Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll at the Bowl With Rock Legend Duane Eddy, as Thomas Wilkins Debuts as Principal Guest Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; Proceeds Support Music Matters, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Music Education Programs

    Friday, June 20, at 8:30 PM

    Summer officially kicks off with a nonstop evening of singing, dancing and celebrating at Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl 2008, Friday, June 20, at 8:30 p.m. The high-energy benefit concert showcases the Ninth Annual Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame induction ceremony presenting performances from legendary music honorees Liza Minnelli, Sir James Galway and B.B. King. Adding to the excitement is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the First Performance of Rock and Roll at the Bowl, featuring the return of the man who made that original performance – Duane Eddy. The event also marks Thomas Wilkins’ debut as Principal Guest Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. A spectacular All-Star Rock and Roll Fireworks Finale caps off the memorable evening, whose proceeds support Music Matters, the LA PHIL’s varied and far-reaching music education programs.

    Hollywood-born, multiple award-winning Liza Minnelli makes a rare Los Angeles performing appearance to accept her honor in recognition of her larger-than-life concert, stage and film careers. She performs several signature songs in her inimitable fashion accompanied by a troupe of singers and dancers, plus the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

    World-renowned flutist and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Sir James Galway accepts his honor in recognition of his matchless mastery of the classical repertoire and his many crossover successes. He demonstrates his incredible range with a performance of classical and Irish-themed works at the concert.

    “King of the Blues” and national treasure B.B. King is honored for his outstanding contributions to American culture and the pure joy he has unleashed as a recording artist and performer during his evergreen 60-year career. King ignites the evening with some of his best-loved songs.

    Duane Eddy, “the first rock and roll guitar God,” performs at the Bowl for the first time since his memorable showing 50 years ago. His unmistakable sound kicks off the first All-Star Rock and Roll Fireworks Finale in the history of the Hollywood Bowl Opening Concerts.

    In his first appearance since the announcement of his appointment, Thomas Wilkins graces the Bowl stage to conduct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. His artistic abilities and charismatic personality are matched by his determination to cultivate a “vibrant creative imagination” in today’s youth.

    Additional presenters to be announced.

    Minnelli, Galway and King join the distinguished company of past artists – John Williams, Garth Brooks, Marilyn Horne, Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, John Raitt, Monty Python, Kathleen Battle, Randy Newman, Bernadette Peters, Leopold Stokowski, George Harrison, the Smothers Brothers, Roger Daltrey, Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Henry Mancini, Sarah Chang, Brian Wilson, Trisha Yearwood, Joshua Bell, Frank Sinatra, Carlos Santana, André Watts, Plácido Domingo and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Founding Director John Mauceri – previously inducted into the Hall of Fame. Drawn from the diverse arena of musical entertainment, including classical, pop, jazz, musical theater, film composition, and dance, Hall of Fame honorees receive their tributes each summer as part of the Bowl’s annual opening night celebration.

    The “Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame” was conceived on behalf of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association by Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton, executive producers of the June 20 concert. Established in 2000, the Hall of Fame identifies and pays tribute to artists whose unique achievements embody the spirit of the world-renowned Hollywood Bowl.

    The Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl Committee is co-chaired by Jay and Barbara Rasulo; and Jonathan Weedman and Raymundo Baltazar. Opening Night sponsors are: Wells Fargo, Gallo Family Vineyards, Goodyear Tire & Rubber and the Patina Restaurant Group at the Bowl.

    The annual benefit includes a VIP pre-concert reception and gourmet dinner in the Bowl’s iconic boxes and helps fund Music Matters, the education programs of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl that reach more than 120,000 young people every year. Tickets for the benefit and concert ($550 – $2,500) include a pre-concert reception and dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. Call 213.972.3051 for details. Tickets for the concert only ($16 - $50), which begins at 8:30 p.m., are on sale online at, at the Hollywood Bowl box office, through Ticketmaster, and by credit card phone order at 323.850.2000.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 40th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2008, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fourth year in a row at the 19th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers and Disneyland.


    FRIDAY, JUNE 20, at 8:30 p.m.

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood



    THOMAS WILKINS, conductor


    B.B. KING


    DUANE EDDY, special guest

    Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl 2008 is generously sponsored by Wells Fargo, Gallo Family Vineyards, Goodyear Tire & Rubber and the Patina Restaurant Group at the Bowl.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422,; Lisa White, 213.972.3408,; Photos: 213.972.3034