As we enter the last part of summer, it’s sobering to think about all the wonderful things we used to take for granted as each month at home ticks by. One of the most iconic, quintessentially summer-in-LA activities that became a casualty of COVID-19 is the LA Phil’s summer season at the Hollywood Bowl. It doesn’t seem right to sign off on summer here unless there has been at least one trip to the Bowl to picnic and enjoy a concert under the stars. Fortunately, we can thank KCET for coming the rescue with a new music series, IN CONCERT AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, premiering on Wednesday August 19 at 9 PM PT. The shows will run through the end of September and then will also be broadcast on PBS stations nationally in early 2021.
The shows are thematic compilations from some of the most popular performances held at the Bowl, enriched with interviews and behind the scenes extras with Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, LA Phil’s Music and Artisitc Director, and some of the artists featured in the episode.
The season’s lineup includes appearances by The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Natalia Lafourcade, Los Angeles Azules, La Santa Cecilia, Misty Copeland, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Kamasi Washington, Herbie Hancock Carlos Santana, Cindy Blackman Santana, Wayne Shorter, Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Vin Scully, Carlos Vives, Café Tacvba, Pink Martini, Thomas Wilkins, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Diego El Cigala, John Williams, among others.
Upcoming Episodes (as of the publication of this post) include:
Wed., Aug. 19 at 9 p.m.: “Hecho en Mexico” (“Made in Mexico”)
Featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil performing Marquez’s El Nereidas de Dimas, Rodrigo y Gabriela with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, Natalia Lafourcade with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, Los Angeles Azules with YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), andLa Santa Cecilia.
Wed., Aug. 26 at 9 p.m.: “Gustavo and Friends”
Featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil performing excerpts from Swan Lake with Misty Copeland, Pablo Ferrández, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil performing a selection from Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil performing Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil, Amanda Majeski, J’Nai Bridges, Issachah Savage, Ryan Speedo Green and the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) performing the finale to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Wed., Sept. 2 at 9 p.m.: “Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl”
Featuring Dianne Reeves with Ivan Lins, Christian McBride, Chucho Valdes, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Kamasi Washington and Mega Nova (Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter).
Wed., Sept. 9 at 9 p.m.: “Musicals and the Movies”
Featuring Kristin Chenoweth with Kevin Stites and the LA Phil, Audra McDonald with Bramwell Tovey and the LA Phil, Sutton Foster with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil.
Wed., Sept. 16 at 9 p.m.: “Música Sin Fronteras” (“Music Without Borders”)
Featuring Vin Scully, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, Carlos Vives, Café Tacvba, and Siudy Garrido Flamenco Dance Theater with the LA Phil and conducted by Paolo Bortolameolli in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Wed., Sept. 23 at 9 p.m.: “Fireworks!”
Featuring Pink Martini, Thomas Wilkins, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Diego El Cigala, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil performing a selection from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, plus John Williams and the LA Phil performing music from Star Wars.
I don’t know about you, but these days have been a bit of trying to recreate some of our old normal while staying safe. I’m thinking an evening with an al fresco dinner just before dusk followed by an evening Hollywood Bowl Concert, with the windows open, a glass of wine in hand, and the lights out might just be enough to help recapture a little of the magic of a Southern California summer night.
Check out your local KCET station or KCET.org for more information.