A First Look At The LA Phil’s Star-Studded Centennial Season

Gustavo Dudamel and LA Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the LA Philharmonic

Photo Credit: Sam Comen / LA Phil

The LA Phil prepares to kick off its 100th anniversary season with an epic day of festivities, including a concert headlined by Katy Perry.

As it enters its 2018-2019 season, the LA Philharmonic has planned a jam-packed year of exceptional entertainment, marking its most anticipated schedule of performances yet. Per tradition, the gala gets things underway on September 27. This year’s theme for the 2018 LA Phil Gala will be “California Soul” and promises to celebrate the creativity and musicality of the state, including classic Californian songs, compositions by John Adams as well as Frank Zappa, and vocalists Chris Martin and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Katy Perry
Katy Perry will headline the Celebrate LA! concert September 30

Photo Credit: LA Phil

No doubt conductor Gustavo Dudamel and company will deliver a little something for everyone at the 2018 gala, with a thrilling program led by Elkhanah Pulitzer. The affair will set loyal patrons back $2,500 per person for dinner and the concert; $1,000 per person for the pre-concert reception; and $250 per person for post-concert party with the always rousing Pink Martini and China Forbes.

China Forbes and Pink Martini
China Forbes and Pink Martini will perform with LA Phil at the 2018 gala (September 27) and on New Year’s Eve

Photo Credit: Chris Hornbecker / LA Phil

Beyond the gala, the talk of the town is Celebrate LA! (September 30), the official start of LA Phil 100, the institution’s centennial program, and the festivities promise to be appropriately over-the-top.

Celebrate LA! will involve 1,800 musicians, artists and dancers joining together to perform on six different stages over an 8-mile festival route. The six stages, or hubs, as LA Phil is calling them, will be Grand Park, MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Melrose, Hollywood and the Hollywood Bowl. The massive “CicLAvia” street party will essentially connect Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring performances, art installations, food trucks, screen printing and more. Participating musicians will include actor Jeff Goldblum and his group, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Hollywood Bowl
Celebrate LA! will feature six stages over 8 miles between Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl (pictured here)

Photo Credit: LA Phil

The epic daylong festival concludes with a 7 p.m. Hollywood Bowl concert (attendance via online sweepstakes) with LA Phil’s special guests Katy Perry, Herbie Hancock, Kali Uchis, the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and others.

With such an incredible preamble to the season, it’s only right that the rest of the 2018/2019 lineup should include even more fan favorites and noteworthy performers. Among those to take the stage with conductor Dudamel and the LA Phil throughout the season are recording artists Andrew Bird (October 11), Moby (October 12), Herbie Hancock (October 13) and Iron & Wine (March 24).

Moby performs with LA Phil October 12

Photo Credit: LA Phil

Tony winners and Broadway legends to perform this season include Bernadette Peters (January 22), who will sing highlights from her long and celebrated career, and Audra McDonald (April 26-28), who will be a featured performer with conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen as they explore musical selections of the Weimar Republic.

Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters performs with LA Phil January 22

Photo Credit: LA Phil

The list of internationally renowned instrumentalists to regale LA audiences this season is long, but no doubt standout performances will be those by violinist Itzhak Perlman (January 20), to perform works from his best-selling album, In The Fiddler’s House, alongside a klezmer band; and pianist Lang Lang (May 17-19, May 34-24), who will thrill Beethoven aficionados with the composer’s five piano concertos and the final four Haydn symphonies.

Audra McDonald_credit Autumn de Wilde
Audra McDonald performs with LA Phil April 26-28

Photo Credit: Autumn de Wilde / LA Phil

Further highlights will see Dudamel paired with choreographer Benjamin Millipied for a special presentation of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (October 18), a stylish New Year’s Eve with Pink Martini, a celebration of Chinese New Year (February 6-7) with violinist Ray Chen, and many other memorable nights.

And for the musical body that accompanies the Oscars (February 24) year after year, it’s fitting the season will also include evenings dedicated to the music of Stanley Kubrick’s films (November 23-25) and the music of Hollywood film composer John Williams (January 24-27).

Hollywood Bowl fireworks
The Hollywood Bowl

Photo Credit: LA Phil

Among the final performances of the season, Dudamel, known for his interpretations of Mahler‘s works, will conduct the composer’s powerful Symphony No. 8, the “Symphony of a Thousand” (May 30-31, June 2) — performed for the first time ever in Walt Disney Concert Hall — to send patrons humming melodies right into the summer break.

For more information on the forthcoming season, including individual events, programs, initiatives and soirees, visit LA Phil online.