L.A. Phil unfurls a new banner for a new season at Walt Disney Concert Hall


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It’s time for that rite of summer: The Los Angeles Philharmonic -- anticipating the opening of a new season -- is changing the giant banner that hangs outside the entrance to its administrative offices at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

On Thursday, the orchestra will take down the bold fuchsia sign that for the past year has proclaimed ‘PASION’ and ‘GUSTAVO’ in honor of the 2009-10 debut of maestro Dudamel, its young Venezuelan music director.


In its place will rise 2010-11’s golden-hued ‘LA PHIL. Share the Passion.’ Both the old and new designs show Dudamel in action. The new one also depicts members of the orchestra.

‘Last season’s banner introduced Gustavo to the community,’ says a Phil spokeswoman. ‘His name was featured prominently and the Spanish word for ‘passion’ described Gustavo and his energy and his Latino heritage.’

This season, now that Dudamel is one of the city’s most familiar figures, the Philharmonic ‘wanted to focus on Gustavo and his connection with the orchestra and the energy they have together and also his connection with the community.’

Images of either Dudamel or his predecessor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, have graced Disney Hall since the building opened in 2003, appearing on reinforced-vinyl rectangles made by AmGraph of Ontario. Traditionally, a vertical Philharmonic building banner faces Grand Avenue while a horizontal banner looks out on Hope Street. Last season’s horizontal creation --which offers three views of Dudamel conducting the Phil -- will continue to be displayed.

The banner exchange comes in the midst of the Philharmonic’s Create Your Own Season subscription sales for a 2010-11 concert lineup that will open with an Oct. 7 gala with Dudamel and the Phil and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez. Single-ticket sales begin Aug. 22.

All of Dudamel’s orchestral appearances last season were sellouts. This season, the Philharmonic spokeswoman says, availability remains for all of his concerts --although, she adds, that can change quickly. Orchestra View seats (those facing the conductor) have been selling at a faster pace since Dudamel’s arrival, a trend that is expected to continue.

The spokeswoman says tickets also are available for Salonen’s first return to Disney Hall as conductor laureate. He will lead the Philharmonic on Nov. 19-21 in the U.S. premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s ‘Graffiti’ on a program with Bartók’s opera, ‘Bluebeard’s Castle,’ followed by Nov. 26-28 concerts that will include his conducting scenes from Wagner with Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.

--Karen Wada

Top photo: The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2010-11 Grand Avenue banner. Credit: Courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Bottom photo: The 2009-10 banner. Credit: Courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.