Mahler, Adams anchor L.A. Phil’s season

Dudamel to lead Mahler's nine symphonies, Adams' 'Gospel'

An ambitious bicontinental staging of the complete symphonies of Gustav Mahler and the world premiere of a new work by composer John Adams highlight the 2011-12 season of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Under music director and star conductor Gustavo Dudamel, whose pact with the L.A. Phil was just extended through the 2018-19 season, the org also reupped its pact with Adams as its creative chair through the 2013-14 season. The creative chair role was created by Dudamel when he assumed his post in 2009.

“The Mahler Project,” as its called, will see Dudamel leading Mahler’s nine completed symphonies with the L.A. Phil and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in both the U.S. and in Caracas, respectively (Dudamel hails from Venezuela). Dudamel will also conduct Adams’ new oratorio, “The Gospel According to the Other Mary,” as part of the seasonal lineup.

Other highlights include the first installment of a three-year Mozart opera project beginning with four performances of “Don Giovanni” (May 18-26), the first performance of Shostakovich’s unfinished lost opera “Orango” and an opening-night gala on Sept. 27 that will feature an all-Gershwin program featuring jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, the L.A. Phil’s creative chair for jazz.

In addition to the Adams work, there will be six other world premieres of new works, as well as nine new commissions, two U.S. premieres and four West Coast bows.

“Gustavo reflects the vibrant spirit of Los Angeles,” said Deborah Borda in the announcement. “Musicians and audiences alike find his unparalleled energy and inexhaustible passion infectious. As a champion of the music of our time, his programming ensures that today’s composers have a welcoming place to showcase new works for eager audiences.”

In addition, Simon Rattle, artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, will make a return engagement to lead the L.A. Phil (he was principal guest conductor of the orchestra from 1981-1994) at Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 3-6.

Non-classical programming includes jazz appearances from singer Diana Reeves, pianists Chucho Valdes and Billy Childs and multi-instrumentalist Bill Frisell; as well as programs toplined by singers Jane Krakowski, Judy Collins and Elaine Stritch, who will perform an evening of Stephen Sondheim tunes.

For complete program info, go to

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