Non-profit of the month: October 2010 - Friends of the LA Phil

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Went to the LA Phil on Friday night for the season opener. Gustavo Dudamel was quite the showman as he led the band with his characteristic high energy.

Of Dudamel's conducting, LAT's Swed said...
Essentially what Dudamel did was invest each measure of Schumann’s symphony with a sense of swagger and hunger. He wanted every yearning phrase to yearn like it had never yearned before. He wanted big chords to imply some kind of untold meaning.

He was cocky on the podium with his conducting gestures. He jumped. He wiggled his hips. He could be hyperactive, and he could be still. He sometimes put his whole body into the desire for a certain expression; sometimes he needed only a finger.

Mainly, there was a sense that Dudamel was in love with every note in this score, and that he had the technique to show the orchestra and the audience why.

And there was Emanuel Ax in the first half of the show with white hair walking onto the stage with a Yoda-likes shuffle and you think how can he have the energy to play a frantic Beethoven Piano Concerto #4? But once those fingers hit the keyboard, it was like magic!

Again, LAT's Swed:
Dudamel is always feisty, but the performance belonged to Ax. His full tone, beautifully shaped phrasing and profoundly natural musicality gave the kind of Beethovenian authority the young conductor seemed not about to challenge. Still, Ax is a anything but sanctimonious, and in the Finale he appeared ready for a little fun, merrily egging on his conductor. Ax’s encore -– Schubert’s gorgeous Second Impromptu -– cast a spell.
This part of Dudamel and the LA Phil is its public rock-star life.

There is the behind-the-scenes work they are doing to bring music education to Los Angeles and it isn't just about music but improving lives as shown in the 60 Minutes pieces.

For this valuable work, I'm donating to the Friends of the LA Phil to support their educational efforts in Los Angeles. Please consider supporting them or your local ensemble that is giving to the community, getting kids off the street out of trouble and lifting up their lives.