Malibu Seen / By Kim Devore


After a successful summer at the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Philharmonic moves the music to Disney Hall and “The Dude” is back for more. Music Director Gustavo Dudamel returns to the podium beginning Oct 7. This year’s splashy opening night features a festive Latin theme with opera A-lister Juan Diego Florez and includes crowd-pleasing favorites by Rossini.

The conductor’s second season with the Phil is ambitious to be sure with 12 new commissions, nine world premieres, five U.S. premieres, two composer-based festivals and a major European tour.

LA Phil prez Deborah Borda couldn’t be more pleased with the way her newest superstar is connecting with the community. “In his first season, Gustavo has already developed a powerful chemistry with musicians and audiences alike,” she says. “This season, we seek to open new boundaries through a series of defining partnerships with John Adams, Thomas Ades, Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis. They will allow us to expand upon who we are and who we can be.”

Classical fans won’t want to miss “Brahms Unbound,” which explores the German composer’s complete symphonic cycle. It opens with the “Academic Festival Overture” and “Symphony No. 1” and wraps up with an evening of chamber music and “Symphony No. 4.”

Other highlights include Mozart’s “Flute Quartet in D Major” as well as works by Debussy and Stravinsky. For lovers of the Bard, there’s Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet,” “Hamlet” and “The Tempest” performed along with readings from Shakespeare’s plays.

In addition to classical presentations, the 2010-11 season offers more contemporary fare like jazz, world and popular music. Wynton Marsalis and musicians from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will premiere a snappy new piece with the Philharmonic. They’ll also preside over a jazz series and conduct an educational outreach program.

There will be performances by Herbie Hancock and Natalie Cole as well as a celebration marking the 90th birthday of legendary sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar; ’70s pop showman Neil Sedaka makes his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut and Michael Feinstein will perform selections from the Great American Songbook.

If you miss former Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, he’ll be back too. The new Conductor Laureate takes the stage in November with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Grant Gershon.

From classic to contemporary, the Phil’s season is as varied as the city itself and that’s just the way Deborah Borda likes it. “We thrive on a combination of what Gustavo has termed ‘the tradition of the new,’ embracing both the past and the possibilities of the future.”

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