Gustavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel outside Disney Hall | Credit: Danny Clinch

It’s hard to believe, but October will mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is honoring that milestone by including four programs celebrating architect Frank Gehry in its typically ambitious 2023–2024 season.

The season will include 12 world premieres, four of which will be given during the previously announced California Festival in November. Other highlights include a film music series curated by John Williams and the reprise of last season’s critically acclaimed staging of Beethoven’s Fidelio featuring Deaf West Theatre.

Outgoing Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will lead 12 programs. Guest conductors will include two former San Francisco Symphony music directors, Herbert Blomstedt and Michael Tilson Thomas, plus the person currently occupying that role, Esa-Pekka Salonen. Others returning to the podium include Zubin Mehta, Susanna Mälkki, Thomas Wilkins, Simone Young, Elim Chan, and Gemma New.

“This season we celebrate an icon, Frank Gehry, and his iconic creation, Walt Disney Concert Hall, an extraordinary building that has shown us new ways to look, listen, feel, and create,” Dudamel said in a statement. “Our programs echo that same spirit of endless exploration.”

Rafael Payare, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Gustavo Dudamel
Rafael Payare, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Gustavo Dudamel are the music directors behind the California Festival | Credit: Boris Allin

The Gehry celebration kicks off with the opening-night gala on Oct. 5. It continues with the U.S. premieres of two works: Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Fanfare, which was inspired by Disney Hall, Oct. 27–29, and Thomas Adès’s Tower, written to celebrate the 2021 opening of a Gehry-designed building in France, Nov. 4–5.

It will conclude Jan. 18–21, 2024, with a staging of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold featuring scenic design by Gehry. Dudamel will conduct the opera, which will be directed by Alberto Arvelo and feature a cast led by Ryan Speedo Green. An exhibit of Gehry’s models for Disney Hall is also planned.

The Philharmonic will present six programs during the new-music-focused California Festival Nov. 9–19. Among the offerings will be the world premieres of two works by Gabriela Ortiz, Seis piezas a Violeta and Revolución diamantina, both conducted by Dudamel. The orchestra will also play new works by Miguel Farías and Sam Adams.

Sam’s father John will conduct programs in March and April 2024, including the world premiere of Timo Andres’s piano concerto, with jazz pianist Aaron Diehl at the keyboard. And Adès will conduct the U.S. premiere of Oliver Leith’s Last Days, based on the Gus Van Sant film, Feb. 6, 2024.

Thomas Adès
Thomas Adès is featured as a conductor and composer this season | Credit: Marco Borggreve

Guest artists will include Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who will perform Dmitri Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto with Dudamel (Oct. 6–8); Igor Levit, who will solo in George Gershwin’s Piano Concerto (Oct. 13–15); and Hilary Hahn, who will play Jean Sibelius’s Violin Concerto (Oct. 20–22).

The film music series, which will take place over the next two seasons, will be dominated by John Williams’s music. It will include screenings of E.T. and Superman, with the LA Phil playing his scores live. In addition, Dudamel will close out the season May 18 and 19, 2024, with a suite from Harry Potter, along with Mason Bates’s Philharmonia Fantastique, which is described as “a 25-minute concerto for orchestra and animated film.”

Subscriptions are now on sale. “Create your own” packages will be available April 4, and single tickets Aug. 22. For more information, call (323) 850-2000, or visit the LA Phil’s website.