Run begins with Beethoven's 9th on Oct. 3

Gustavo Dudamel will begin his initial run as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music director with a free performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 3 and a gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall that will feature the world premiere of a John Adams piece dedicated to the Los Angeles of the 1940s and ’50s. His opening season will conclude with a tour of eight U.S. cities in May 2010.

Dudamel, the 27-year-old conductor from Venezuela who arrives in L.A. already highly celebrated, opens the 2009-10 season Oct. 8 at Disney Concert Hall with a performance of Adams’ L.A. Phil-commissioned “City Noir” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a work he first conducted at 17 in his homeland. He will oversee a festival titled “Americas and Americans” that will include a multimedia presentation with Antonio Estevez’ “Cantata Criolla” (April 29-May 2, 2010) and the premiere of three Philharmonic-commissioned works featuring guitarists Lee Brouwer and Andrew McKenna Lee (May 4, 2010).

“L.A. is in a place with a special tradition, a tradition of new ideas,” Dudamel told Philharmonic supporters and the press Thursday afternoon from the stage at Disney Concert Hall. “The legacy for Esa-Pekka (Salonen) is this idea to have together the traditional repertoire with the new repertoire. To have new composers played by a wonderful orchestra … is to have a message of hope, of young energy. It is something that will be great.”

Composer-conductor Adams, who has been appointed creative chair of the L.A. Philharmonic, will oversee a West Coast: Left Coast festival dedicated to works with California as a central theme. Highlights include Dudamel conducting one of his predecessor’s best-known works, Salonen’s “L.A. Variations,” on a program with Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto and “City Noir” (Nov. 23-29); and Kronos Quartet performances, one of which will include the world premiere of Thomas Newman’s piece for the Kronos and orchestra.

Season will feature seven commissioned works besides the Newman and Adams pieces. Osvaldo Golijov will debut a work for soprano, hyper-accordion and piano on March 23, 2010 and Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 4 will utilize the Disney Concert Hall’s 6,134-pipe organ on May 6-8, 2010. Adams’ work for solo piano will make its West Coast premiere April 20, 2010.

The L.A. Phil will continue jazz, world music and songbook series that include a tribute to Beat poets with the Charles Lloyd Quartet featuring Joshua Redman and Joe Lovano (Dec. 8), Charlie Haden Family and Friends (Nov. 17) and Patti LuPone (May 15, 2010).

Dudamel’s debut will be televised in Europe, South America and Asia and broadcast in the U.S. a week later on PBS’s “Great Performances.”

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