The Los Angeles Philharmonic wrapped up its 100th anniversary year with a celebratory evening on October 24 that culminated in a dazzling outdoor light show by aerial drones. But the real fireworks that night might have been onstage at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where three LA Phil music directors—current Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor Emeritus Zubin Mehta, and Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen—led the orchestra in works by Lutosławski, Wagner, Ravel, and Stravinsky, and the world premiere of Daníel Bjarnason’s From Space I Saw Earth. The piece was commissioned for the orchestra’s centennial and written for the three conductors, who stood at engraved podiums; twenty Youth Orchestra Los Angeles participants positioned throughout the hall played along on hand-held crotales. The performance was accompanied by confetti drifting down from the ceiling. The LA Phil’s centennial season brought more than 54 commissions, plus initiatives including a free street festival spread across the city. The orchestra also broke ground on new headquarters for YOLA in nearby Inglewood and launched the LA Phil Resident Fellows program, which aims to create more diverse and inclusive orchestras.
Caption: From left: Conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Zubin Mehta, and Gustavo Dudamel acknowledge the standing ovation at the orchestra’s October 24 gala concert celebrating the orchestra’s 100th birthday, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Photo by Craig Mathew/Mathew Imaging.