“ ‘Season of the Century’ is the slogan that the Los Angeles Philharmonic is using to tout its centennial season,” writes Alex Ross in the November 26 issue of The New Yorker. “Two months in, the centennial program has already brought three fairly staggering events… First was the première of Andrew Norman’s ‘Sustain,’ a forty-minute, single-movement piece that may become a modern American classic…. Two weeks later, the L.A. Phil was playing Prokofiev’s ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’ [with] Benjamin Millepied … on hand to choreograph select scenes…. Come early November, the L.A. Phil was dividing its attention between …. a staging of portions of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest,’ with Sibelius’s incidental music … and John Cage’s ‘Europeras 1 and 2,’ a chance-controlled collage … at Sony Studios…. Before ‘The Tempest,’ [principal guest conductor Susanna] Mälkki led a virtuosic, vibrant performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony…. The L.A. players’ immersion in new music, far from hindering their work in standard repertory, surely helped them to deliver a fresh account of a familiar score; before intermission, they had given the première of Reich’s Music for Ensemble and Orchestra, a vista of shimmering desert stillness. If the orchestra has a future, it is here.”

Posted December 3, 2018