Gustavo Dudamel has just completed his first season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The 29-year-old conductor arrived in October to deafening fanfare and a media blitz. The season also saw Dudamel participate in his first tour with the orchestra that included stops in eight cities across the country.
Here’s a look back at some of the high points of the season. And if you’re already feeling withdrawal symptoms, don’t worry — Dudamel is set to appear in a handful of concerts as part of the Hollywood Bowl lineup this summer. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel received a hero’s welcome with a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl that included performances by the YOLA Expo Centre Youth Orchestra and the L.A. Philharmonic. Fireworks spelled out the words ¡Bienvenido Dudamel! as the final sections of the Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony echoed over the enthusiastic crowds. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Just five days later, Dudamel led the L.A. Philharmonic in the season opener at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The performance featured the debut of John Adams‘ “City Noir” (which was commissioned by the orchestra) as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel conducted four performances of Verdi’s Requiem, a piece that was still relatively new to the young maestro. The concert included the L.A. Master Chorale and four vocal soloists. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
For his first festival as music director of the L.A. Philharmonic, Dudamel led a series of concerts in the orchestra’s celebration of California‘s unique place in music history. The event, which was curated by John Adams, featured contemporary pieces with strong connections to West Coast culture. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
The conductor suffered a pulled neck muscle during an evening performance at Disney Hall. Under doctor’s orders, he underwent medical tests but was back on the podium the following morning to lead a matinee concert. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Dudamel concluded the current season with an eight-city U.S. tour with the L.A. Philharmonic, with stops including San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York. Next up: the Hollywood Bowl season. (Henny Ray Abrams / Associated Press)