Malibu Seen: The Sound of Music Returns at Last

Gustavo Dudamel will soon return to the Hollywood Bowl.

The violins are tuning up, the flutes are getting ready to blow their notes and the conductors are preparing to take center stage.

To the great relief of music lovers, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is back in business and so is another local summer treasure—those glorious nights under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl.

The COVID-19 crisis forced the closure of almost all entertainment venues, large and small, turning the city into the sound of crickets chirping. In the meantime, a fantastic season was lost.

It was the first full cancellation in 98 years. The new line-up is impressive, with plans including a special May concert for essential workers and the traditional and the much-loved fireworks concert in July.

“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for,” said L.A. Phil’s Chad Smith. “The bowl is back.”

The 2021 season features 14 weeks of music. There is a possibility of capacity crowds given the state’s plan to reopen businesses and venues by June 15.

Prior to the bowl’s official opening, the community-oriented organization will host four free concerts to thank frontline workers.

To top that off, the one and only Artistic and Music Director Gustavo “The Dude” Dudamel and his orchestra will officially reopen the bowl with riveting pieces from Tchaikovsky to Montgomery.

After a season of music, the series winds down with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Oct. 24.  

But COVID-19 rules are still in place. Attendance at the 17,500-seat venue will be limited to 4,000 seats to ensure a six-foot distance between what has been called “pods” of guests. 

Even this comes as a relief to the L.A. Phil as the once energetic and electrifying stage stood still and some of the world’s top musicians stayed home. 

As for Gustavo, his words were clear: “I cannot express the joy and hope that I feel at the thought of returning to the stage with our musicians in front of a live audience. We have found so many extraordinary and creative ways to share music together over the course of this pandemic, but truly nothing can take the place of performing in person. And nothing can compare to the magic of making music at the Hollywood Bowl, where the sound of waves mingle with the soft breeze of a Southern California evening. My friends, we have missed you, and we cannot wait to share the music in person again.”

So, get those picnic baskets ready and prepare for a night of music, stars and fun. Gustavo, Bravo!