LA PHIL: SYMPHONIES FOR YOUTH
SYMPHONIES FOR YOUTH
The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall
2005 - 2012
This concert series represent an incredible opportunity to share and explore music with an audience. The format is focused on engagement—recognizing that the orchestra and the audience are together in a wonderful space specifically built for music. (This alone is something to point out and celebrate.) The audience and the orchestra work together to explore and unpack the inner-workings of the music being performed.
"Every concert is a living, in-the-moment exploration of music."
Each concert is a living, in-the-moment exploration of music. Sometimes the music just stops and I'll say, “Wow! Did you hear that?” And then we’ll poke around the music and dig deeper: “Listen as the violins play this phrase. Now listen to what the french horns are playing along with that. Now listen to this…” The goal is to listen deeply and have awareness of the interlocking layers of sound in a piece of music. Every now and then we’ll rearrange the music and take a new listen, “What if the flute plays the melody here instead of the trombones? What would that sound like? Now let’s have the melody played on timpani. Can you hear why the oboe seems like the best choice?”
In addition to listening, the audience always participates on a physical level via call & response, singing, clapping their hands, stomping their feet, dance/movement, etc. Through this interactive, everyone-in-the-room format we’ve explored minimalism, jazz, and the music of iconic composers like Jean Sibelius, Arvo Pärt, John Adams, Beethoven and many others.
Every production is developed with a strong behind-the-scenes commitment to concept and production meetings, selecting and refining the music excerpts, script drafts and rewrites, rehearsals (on and off stage), lighting design, actors, dancers, and a fantastic technical crew. And amazingly, all of this takes place in Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is one of the most magical venues you could hope to see and hear.
MINIMALIST JUKEBOX (2006, 2012)
Conductor/Host: Alexander Mickelthwate Co-host: Ed Barguiarena Choreographer: Ben Levy - Levy Dance
Conductor/Host: Teddy Abrams Co-host: Ed Barguiarena Choreographer: Kitty McNamee - Hysterica Dance Company
An orchestra of one hundred, twelve timpani, six dancers, and two hosts—minimalism to the max!
This concert highlights the use of patterns, layers, dynamics, and rhythm. We look at the ideas of minimalism and discover how simple ideas can create very complex music. The audience gets to perform their own 2,000 person interpretation of Clapping Music, and learn some choreography while the orchestra plays The Chairman Dances.
Philip Glass: Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, Mvt 1.
Steve Reich: Clapping Music
John Adams: The Chairman Dances
Arvo Pärt: Summa for Strings
Steve Reich: The Four Sections: Full Orchestra
NORTHERN LIGHTS: THE MUSIC OF JEAN SIBELIUS (2007)
Conductor: Lionel Bringuier Host: Rob Bowers
Walt Disney Concert Hall transformed into the forests and fjords of Finland!
We broke the bank on lighting design for this one and created the land of Northern Lights. So many mysterious hues of blue, red, green, and gold. This concert explores Sibelius’ connection between sound and sight, (Did you know he had synesthesia?) and his love of nature echoed through his unique way of composing. Cellos and trumpets together, what color is that? Can a violin section sound like a tree? How might music grow, little by little, like a flower? Can music make you see and feel the sun? Endless possibilities in a magical land.
Symphony No. 1
Symphony No. 5
JAZZ & THE ORCHESTRA (2007, 2011)
This concert celebrates the exuberance of jazz music and the joy of playing and speaking it.
"How do you speak jazz?" Well... it depends. Guided by the masterful insights and sounds of Christian McBride and his A-list quintet, we learn how to swing, walk the bass, play time, comp, improv, scat, and more. With a jam-packed stage filled with musicians, we hear how two "bands" can play similar music in different ways. Different is good but it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
One of the ideas we share is how jazz musicians like to reimagine well known songs. We use The Itsy Bitsy Spider as an example. John Beasley (piano) plays the traditional version, and then improvs some other ways to play it. "What if the spider were scared? or silly? What would that sound like?" And then the jazz quintet plays it as a slow and elegant ballad (I was honored to do an arrangement for these world-class jazzers). The goal here is to show how musicians use their imaginations, and to give the audience a visceral sense of what it feels like to "play" with and in music.
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, Finale
Charles Mingus: Better Git It in Your Soul
Duke Ellington: It Don’t Mean a Thing (arr: John Clayton)
Traditional: The Itsy Bitsy Spider Ballad (arr: Ed Barguiarena)
Sean O'Laughlin: Arachnology (LA PHIL commission for Jazz & The Orchestra)
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF HENRY MANCINI (2006)
Conductor: Alexander Mickelthwate Host: Ananda Lewis Flute Soloist: Greg Jefferson
From the serious to the silly, to stories of love and war, his memorable melodies capture the essence of being human.
With film clips and lots of excerpts, this concert explores the life and music of Henry Mancini. Laughing, dancing, and singing required!
Overture to a Pops Concert
Sons of Italy
The Pink Panther theme
Baby Elephant Walk
Pie in the Face Polka
Cameo for Flute
Peter Gunn theme
THE POWER OF MUSIC (2005)
Conductor/Host: Alexander Mickelthwate Co-Writer: Jessica Goldberg
This is the concert that started it all!
A grand mosaic of orchestral music helps us investigate musical terms and what they mean—melody, harmony, tempo, rhythm, and more. We explore how these words describe what we're hearing but can't describe what we're feeling. The Power of Music shows us that emotion and mood, provided by a top-notch orchestra, are the human ingredients that make great music come to life!
Leonard Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition - Old Castle
Bernard Herrmann: Music from the film Psycho
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Overture to Le Nozze di Figaro
Jean Sibelius: Finlandia
BEETHOVEN IN THE HOUSE (2005 & 2012)
SYMPHONIES FOR SCHOOLS - Passion and Heart: Tchaikovsky's Symphony #4 (2007)