How do you follow up your 100th birthday celebration? If you’re the Hollywood Bowl, you pay tribute to two legendary Los Angeles musicians who are nearly as old — and revered — as the amphitheater itself: John Williams and Quincy Jones.
The just-announced 101st Bowl season will include three programs — six evenings in total, including repeats — featuring the music of Williams, who turns 91 this week. Jones, who turns 90 next month, will be saluted in a birthday concert led by his longtime collaborator Jules Buckley on July 28 and 29.
Williams and Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will share conducting duties for a program of Williams’s film scores July 7–9. The selections will be synchronized with a selection of film clips. The complete film of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi will be screened Sept. 1 and 2, with David Newman conducting the score live.
In between, Williams’s music from the Academy Award-nominated 2013 film The Book Thief will be performed on a concert conducted by Stéphane Denève on July 27. That program will also feature Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and the Violin Concerto No. 2 by jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs, with soloist Rachel Barton Pine. She gave the work’s premiere last summer at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival.
Also receiving its West Coast premiere will be the Mandolin Concerto by MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile. He will be the soloist in his own piece on Aug. 22, in a concert that also features a world premiere by Jonathan Bailey Holland and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.
Dudamel will lead the LA Phil in seven programs over the summer, beginning July 6 with Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring presumably pastoral projections on the Bowl’s shell. He returns for Verdi’s Requiem on July 11 with a high-powered team of young soloists, including soprano Angel Blue. A Duke Ellington celebration follows on July 13.
The Phil’s music director will also be on the podium for a program of Latin American music, including Alberto Ginastera’s ballet Estancia, July 18; an all-Russian program featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, July 20; and a concert with the Mexico City-based indie rockers Café Tacvba, July 21 and 22.
Other classical programs will include Leonard Slatkin conducting Antonín Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, July 25; Yunchan Lim playing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Aug. 1; Hélène Grimaud performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Aug. 8; and Jean-Yves Thibaudet soloing in Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, Aug. 15.
The acclaimed young New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New will conduct the Phil on Aug. 31, in a program featuring Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Shift, Change, Turn, a work by contemporary composer Jessie Montgomery that was inspired by Vivaldi’s concertos.
Non-John Williams film programs include a screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing Alexandre Desplat’s score, June 24. On Aug. 24, Joe Hisaishi, who has scored most of Hayao Miyazaki’s highly acclaimed Studio Ghibli films, will conduct Claude Debussy’s La mer, plus his own score for Miyazaki’s 1997 masterpiece, Princess Mononoke.
Finally, for those who prefer stage to screen, a celebration of the late Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim will take place July 30. Veteran music theater conductor Kevin Stites will lead the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in a program appropriately titled “Everybody Rise!”
Season subscriptions are now on sale; “create your own” packages will go on sale March 14, and single-ticket sales begin May 2. For more information, go to the Hollywood Bowl website, or call (323) 850-2000.