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February 02, 2012

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Tribute to Gustav Mahler

By Jordan Kisner

Courtesy Craig T. Mathew / Mathew Imaging, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

When a famous composer’s centennial rolls around, it’s safe to expect a year full of festivals and seasonal programming featuring his great works. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is paying an ambitiously comprehensive tribute for the 100th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s death, collaborating with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra to perform all nine of Mahler’s formidable symphonies in just three weeks. Conducted by the Philharmonic’s Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, who burst onto the international conducting scene by winning the inaugural Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2004, the Mahler festival is winding to a close, with only Symphonies No. 8 and 9 remaining. The Ninth is the most beloved of Mahler’s symphonies, but the February 4 performance of Mahler’s Eighth (the Symphony of a Thousand) will be something to see: Both orchestras will combine with a chorus of 800-plus soloists, making for over a thousand performers in the historic Shrine Auditorium.

Once they finish in Los Angeles, the orchestras depart for Caracas, Venezuela, where they’ll do it all over again—but in only seven days. We wish them luck! laphil.com.