Celebrate 20 years at Walt Disney Concert Hall in “The LA Phil Celebrates Frank Gehry” on GREAT PERFORMANCES – Feb. 16 at 9 pm

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“The LA Phil Celebrates Frank Gehry”



Premieres Friday, February 16 at 9 p.m. on PBS, and the PBS App

Grammy® Award-winning conductor Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, leads the orchestra in a star-studded concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall with a performance honoring the venue’s maverick architect Frank Gehry. With performances by multi-Grammy Award winner and jazz musician Herbie Hancock, dancer and choreographer Lucinda Childs, and five-time Grammy winner H.E.R., the program includes the prelude to Bach’s Partita in E, a work titled FOG by former LA Phil music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Debussy’s La mer, and more. Great Performances: The LA Phil Celebrates Frank Gehry premieres Friday, February 16 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, on and the PBS App.

Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock

The concert incorporates works performed at the 2003 opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall as well as the architect’s oceanic inspirations, immortalized in the building’s steel sails. The prelude from Bach’s Partita in E, which opens the concert, was the first piece performed in the then-still-under-construction hall. Following this, Esa-Pekka Salonen transforms Bach’s melody into his composition, FOG, which is accompanied by a dance choreographed by Lucinda Childs. Gehry’s love of the sea, orchestral music and jazz are reflected in performances by Herbie Hancock and R&B singer H.E.R., along with Debussy’s La mer performed by the LA Phil under the direction of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. The concert also features violinist Geneva Lewis and Grammy-winning organist Paul Jacobs.

The theme of the concert is water, characterizing the music, the Hall, and Gehry’s other work. The memory of Bach’s prelude to Partita in E performed in the unfinished concert hall inspired Salonen to create FOG, which was written in tribute to Gehry. With the three letters in the title corresponding to Gehry’s initials, “Foggy” was also the name of his sailboat. Salonen also used letters in Gehry’s name as musical pitches for much of the harmony in the piece. Lucinda Childs’ choreography and performance accompanying FOG is the composition’s first dance treatment.

Jazz is another area of intense interest and joy for Gehry, and Herbie Hancock, the LA Phil’s Creative Chair for Jazz, has been part of the Walt Disney Concert Hall family since its inaugural season. Hancock performs “Maiden Voyage,” the title track from his 1965 album recorded for Blue Note Records, continuing the concert’s aquatic theme. Water and fluidity are also musically exemplified by Debussy’s La mer.