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LA Phil Goes Nationwide With In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

December 8, 2020

The Hollywood Bowl is set to see its biggest audiences yet. This summer, with live concerts out of the question, the Los Angeles Philharmonic put together a TV series, in partnership with KCET, that preserved some of the venue’s magic. Those archival Bowl programs aired locally in August and September. Now, In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl is going national, broadcasting next month on PBS stations across the country.

The six-episode series, premiering Jan. 15, captures the high points of a summer season at the Bowl. Each program is a sort of “best of,” mixing and matching concert recordings from the past 10 years. Fittingly, the LA Phil’s music and artistic director, Gustavo Dudamel, is at the center of many of the programs. (He made his LA Phil debut at the venue in 2005.)

“Gustavo and Friends,” airing Feb. 5, has the conductor taking the stage with some big-name collaborators: Misty Copeland dancing Swan Lake, Pablo Ferrández playing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, and J’Nai Bridges joining the orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Dudamel puts forward a signature project in two more episodes, “Hecho en México” (Made in Mexico) and “Música Sin Fronteras” (Music without borders), programs that feature everything from Copland to flamenco dancing and fit in with the conductor’s “music of the Americas” mission.

It wouldn’t be a Hollywood Bowl season without some classic pops programming, too. There’s a Broadway episode (Jan. 15), with performances by Kristen Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, and company, and there’s a jazz one (Jan. 29), with more than a dozen big names on the setlist. The series wraps up Feb. 19 with a “Fireworks!” special: music from The Firebird, a performance by Katy Perry, and more.

Episodes of In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl will air on PBS stations nationwide, locally on PBS SoCal, and on the PBS app. The series is the LA Phil’s big offering in January and February, before new performances in the orchestra’s SOUND/STAGE series pick up Feb. 19.

Peter Feher is an editor at SFCV. He can be reached at [email protected].