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  • WDCH
  • The LA Phil Celebrates California’s Musical Culture With Its West Coast, Left Coast Festival
  • Nov. 21, 2009
  • Creative Chair John Adams Curates the Three-Week Multi-Disciplinary Festival

    Brian Wilson Just Added to Songs of the Sun Program

    NOVEMBER 21 – DECEMBER 8, 2009

    November 21 Media Sponsor: 89.9 KCRW

    The distinctive qualities that make California a sympathetic refuge for creative renegades – from its unique landscapes that have inspired numerous masterpieces to the juxtaposed attitudes of the state’s northern and southern regions – are all explored musically in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s West Coast, Left Coast festival. Curated by the LA Phil’s new Creative Chair, John Adams, the unprecedented three-week multi-disciplinary series of events acknowledges the West Coast’s, particularly California’s, distinct musical culture and attempts to answer the questions – how did this come about and what does it all mean? In focusing on California as a land of possibility, the varied events that make up the festival provide attendees an opportunity to immerse themselves completely in music from many sources, as well as in symposia, film screenings and other events, all focusing on the West Coast philosophy.

    “The West Coast, Left Coast festival is a celebration of music that is, in a sense, native born, arising from the curious and unique nature of the California sensibility,” says Adams. “When it comes to music we are still a young culture, younger than the East Coast and younger for sure than Europe or the great traditions of the Orient and the Middle East. I am not even certain that there is a single ‘West Coast sensibility.’ Part of the aim of the festival is to discover whether there is indeed such an identifying characteristic in what we do. Certainly what seems to set us apart as West Coast composers is a particular absence of orthodoxy and an openness to influences and stimuli that may come from any number of sources, whether it’s John Cage listening to ambient sounds in the environment, or Harry Partch making microtonal instruments out of recycled junk, or Brian Wilson singing his quintessential Southern California lyrics, or Lou Harrison creating an alchemy of Balinese gamelans and ancient Greek tuning modes, or Frank Zappa incorporating Varèsian sonorities and Stravinskian rhythms into his utterly individual music. As all of these pioneers and experimenters showed us, there is much to celebrate and to explore in our own backyard – both figuratively and literally! – and our festival is dedicated to that spirit.”

    The festival is comprised of a wide range of musical and other events woven together to present a solid framework of the diversity of California sound. West Coast, Left Coast begins with EUREKA! Festival Opening Event, Saturday, November 21, and features four diverse and remarkable California artists – ensemble-in-residence, San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet, minimalist composer/musician Terry Riley, electronic-experimental artists Matmos and Los Angeles-born multi-instrumentalist Mike Einziger – sharing the stage for solo performances and exclusive collaborations, drawing inspiration from each other as well as their West Coast roots. The festival’s first classical subscription performance features LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel as he leads the Philharmonic in a program of former LA Phil Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen’s LA Variations, Lou Harrison’s Piano Concerto and Adams’ City Noir, November 27 – 29. The festival continues with a Green Umbrella series program presenting Harry Partch’s US Highball, and Adams conducting Ingram Marshall’s Fog Tropes (for brass ensemble) and selections from Frank Zappa’s The Yellow Shark, December 1. Adams also leads the LA Phil in his own The Dharma at Big Sur with soloist Leila Josefowicz, December 5 – 6. Guest conductor and Angeleno Leoard Slatkin leads the orchestra and the Kronos Quartet in the world premiere of a new work by Thomas Newman (of the Hollywood film-scoring Newman family dynasty), December 3 & 4. L.A.-based indie rock quintet The Airborne Toxic Event is accompanied by The Calder Quartet and other special guests for a one-of-a-kind evening, December 4; Legendary California icon Brian Wilson performs in a special stripped-down setting, joined by other artists, including “King of California” Dave Alvin, as they share their West Coast-inspired and sun-soaked sounds in Songs of the Sun, December 6. And, an LA Phil Jazz series concert, A Night of the Beats, features the Charles Lloyd New Quartet, poet performer Michael McClure as well as Kurt Elling, Joshua Redman, LA Phil Creative Chair for Jazz Christian McBride, Peter Erskine, Alan Broadbent and others, who come together to relive the hip non-conformity of the Beat Generation’s poetry and jazz, December 8.

    West Coast, Left Coast offers other ancillary events including Marshall’s Alcatraz, a sound/video installation in Walt Disney Concert Hall’s BP Hall, and Deborah O’Grady’s photo installation Dreaming Coyote, Dreaming the World, in the lobby throughout the festival. Parades & Changes, Replays, offers a reinterpretation of the celebrated collaboration between Anna Halprin and Morton Subotnick, at REDCAT, November 11 – 14. The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus performs A California Christmas at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, November 14, and is preceded by a pre-concert discussion featuring Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne. Jacaranda presents a program featuring two works by Adams, also at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, November 14, Pauline Oliveros and Stuart Dempster present the transformative experience of Deep Listening® at the Getty Center, November 22, and Amy X Neuberg and the Cello ChiXtet offer The Secret Language of Subways, at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, November 30. John Adams, Phil Lesh, Thomas Newman and Kevin Starr participate in the symposium, “The Art of the State,” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, December 5.

    Complete festival programming is as follows:

    Saturday, November 21, at 9:30 p.m.

    EUREKA! Festival Opening Event

    Kronos Quartet

    Terry Riley


    Mike Einziger

    Sunday, November 22, at 7 p.m.

    Los Angeles Master Chorale

    Grant Gershon, music director

    Sergio "Checo" Alonso, folk harp

    LAURIDSEN Mid-Winter Songs

    MARSHALL Savage Altars (Los Angeles premiere)

    DAVID O Map of Los Angeles

    WHITACRE Cloudburst

    The Master Chorale spotlights music by four Left Coast composers, including the L.A. premiere of Savage Altars by Ingram Marshall, the New Yorker who “found his voice” when he came to the West Coast in the 1970s.

    Tickets: call 213-972-7282 or visit

    Friday, November 27, at 8 p.m.

    Saturday, November 28, at 8 p.m.

    Sunday, November 29, at 2 p.m.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

    Marino Formenti, piano

    SALONEN LA Variations

    HARRISON Piano Concerto

    ADAMS City Noir (LAPA commission)

    Adams’ new work is about Los Angeles and was commissioned with this festival in mind.

    Sunday, November 29, at 7:30pm

    Piano Spheres: California Keyboard

    Gloria Cheng, Vicki Ray, Mark Robson, Susan Svrček, pianos

    CAGE Music for Amplified Toy Pianos

    COWELL Anger Dance

    COWELL The Harper-Minstrel Sings

    COWELL Fleeting

    COWELL Fabric

    COWELL The Fairy Answer

    POWELL Settings

    KRAFT Requiescat

    JARVINEN Queen of Spain

    LESEMANN Nataraja

    NAIDOO Bad Times Coming

    LENTZ Nightbreaker

    Displaying powerhouse technique while bringing contemporary works to life, the innovative Los Angeles-based Piano Spheres explores the sounds and styles of notable California composers.

    Tuesday, December 1, at 8 p.m.

    Green Umbrella

    Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group

    John Adams, conductor

    Kronos Quartet

    David Barron, singer

    MARSHALL Fog Tropes (for brass ensemble)

    PARTCH US Highball

    ZAPPA Selections from The Yellow Shark

    Dog Breath Variations

    Uncle meat

    Girl in the Magnesium Dress

    Questi Cazzi di Piccione

    Ruth is Sleeping

    G-Spot Tornado

    The Yellow Shark, a collection of his avant-garde music played by Ensemble Modern, was the last recording Frank Zappa released before he died.

    Thursday, December 3, at 8 p.m.

    Friday, December 4, at 11 a.m.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    Leonard Slatkin, conductor

    Kronos Quartet, guest ensemble

    GOLDSMITH Music for Orchestra

    BATES Liquid Interface

    WAXMAN Tristan und Isolde Fantasy

    NEWMAN Work for Kronos and Orchestra (LAPA commission; world premiere)

    Mason Bates uses both halves of his composer/DJ brain to create music that's never heard of categories.

    Friday, December 4, at 9 p.m.

    The Airborne Toxic Event

    featuring the Calder Quartet

    Hometown heroes, the timeless and romantic rock quintet is joined by strings and special guests for a one-of-a-kind evening celebrating California’s anthemic indie-rock sound.

    Saturday, December 5, at 8 p.m.

    Sunday, December 6, at 2 p.m.

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    John Adams, conductor

    Paul Dresher, Quadrachord

    Joel Davel, Marimba Lumina

    Joseph Pereira, timpani

    Leila Josefowicz, violin

    DRESHER Glimpsed from Afar for Quadrachord and Marimba Lumina

    KRAFT Timpani Concerto No. 1

    ROSENMAN Suite from Rebel Without a Cause

    ADAMS The Dharma at Big Sur

    The amazing Josefowicz plays The Dharma at Big Sur’s electric violin solo, composed for the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Sunday, December 6, at 8 p.m.

    Songs of the Sun

    Brian Wilson

    Dave Alvin

    Additional special guests to be announced

    One of California’s most iconic and influential songwriters and vocalists, Brian Wilson performs a very special set for this LA PHIL festival celebrating the Left Coast. Downey’s own roots-rock hero, Dave Alvin shares his heart and soul through down-to-earth blues and modern Americana music.

    Tuesday, December 8, at 8 p.m.

    Jazz Concert: Beat Poets

    Charles Lloyd Quartet

    Michael McClure, poet performer

    Kurt Elling, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Peter Erskine and Alan Broadbent, special guests

    Other readers TBD

    The poetry of the Beat Generation and the bebop of jazz were indelibly linked by their hip non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. The audience will have an opportunity to relive those heady days with some seminal Beat poems and jazz with a fresh twist from some of today’s finest artists including the LA Phil’s own Christian McBride and Redman with a new take on Kerouac’s “Blues & Haikus.”

    Walt Disney Concert Hall – BP Hall/Lobby (throughout the festival)

    MARSHALL Alcatraz (sound/video installation)

    From the team of Ingram Marshall (music) and Jim Bengston (photography), this extraordinary work – which captures the feelings and thoughts of those who inhabited the island Alcatraz – was created while Marshall lived in the San Francisco Bay area (1973-1985).

    Deborah O’GRADY Dreaming Coyote, Dreaming the World (photo installation)

    O’Grady’s video installation takes a look back at her photographic exploration of California using special projected text and landscape imagery selected to “loosen the grip of our ocular epistemology and allow imagination to re-enter our encounters with the land.”



    631 W. 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Wednesday, November 11 – 14, 8:30 p.m.

    Parades & Changes, Replays (2008)

    A re-interpretation of the celebrated collaboration between Anna Halprin and Morton Subotnick

    Anne Collod, conception and artistic direction

    Morton Subotnick, music

    This pinnacle work came out of the 60s, when Morton Subotnick – one of the pioneers of electronic music and a founder of the San Francisco Tape Music Center – was teaching at Mills College and developing one of the most important technological breakthroughs in the genre.

    General admission $25-30 [Students $20-25, CalArts students, faculty and staff $12-18]
    Tickets: Visit or call 213.237.2800.

    First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica

    1220 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Saturday, November 14, at 2 p.m.

    Los Angeles Children’s Chorus


    Highlighting various historic influences and developments in California, this program features Christmas-related music from Spain, France, China and Mexico, as well as works by contemporary California composers Conte, Holmes, Adams, La Roccha and Gibson.


    Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic, will lead a discussion on historical influences in California as demonstrated in this program, relating it all to the festival’s theme of California as a sympathetic refuge for creative renegades.

    Tickets: Call 626.793.4231, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

    Saturday, November 14, at 8 p.m.


    ADAMS Road Movies

    HARRISON Solstice

    MARSHALL Soe-Pa, for amplified guitar w/ reverb and loops

    ADAMS Shaker Loops

    Santa Monica-based group Jacaranda presents a concert of California composers, including two works by Festival Director John Adams.

    Tickets: Call 800.595.4TIX or visit

    The Getty Center, Los Angeles
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

    Sunday, November 22, at 3 p.m.
    Pauline Oliveros and Stuart Dempster
    Deep Listening®

    Experimental artists Pauline Oliveros (accordion) and Stuart Dempster (trombone) present the transformative experience of Deep Listening®, a philosophy and practice developed by Oliveros in San Francisco that distinguishes between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening.

    Co-presented by The J. Paul Getty Museum and the LA Phil.

    Tickets: Free, reservations required – visit or call 310.440.7300.

    Zipper Hall at the Colburn School

    200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Monday, November 30, 8 p.m.

    Amy X Neuburg and the Cello ChiXtet

    The Secret Language of Subways

    San Francisco-based singer, composer and electronic instrument performer Amy X Neuburg bridges the boundaries between classical, experimental and popular music in her California take on New York City in this song cycle about the inane and perpetually unfinished businesses of love and war.

    Co-presented by The Colburn School and the LA Phil

    $15 tickets; Los Angeles Philharmonic Association selling tickets

    Grand Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Saturday, December 5, 2 – 4 p.m.

    Symposium – “The Art of the State”

    John Adams, Phil Lesh, Thomas Newman and Kevin Starr

    Audiences can engage more deeply with the festival’s themes and enjoy a first-hand curatorial perspective at this lively public discussion of “West Coast, Left Coast” and its implications for the future of music in California.

    $10 tickets; Los Angeles Philharmonic Association selling tickets.

    The LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC ASSOCIATION, under the vibrant leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable locations anywhere to experience music – Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational concerts, children's programming and community concerts, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.



    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
    Other Venues where noted


    November 21 Media Sponsor: 89.9 KCRW

    Tickets [LA Phil: $17 - $160; Eureka! West Coast, Left Coast Opening Event: $30 - $70; Los Angeles Master Chorale: call 213.972.7282 or visit; Piano Spheres: $25; Green Umbrella: $26 - $51; The Airborne Toxic Event: $28 - $42; Songs of the Sun: $28 - $42; A Night of the Beats: $38 - $106; Parades & Changes, Replays – REDCAT (call 213.237.2800, or visit $25 - $30, Students $25 - $25, CalArts students, faculty and staff $12 – 18); Los Angeles Children’s Chorus: call 626.793.4231; Jacaranda: call 800.595.4TIX, or visit; Deep Listening – The Getty Center: call 310.440.7300 or visit; Amy X Neuburg and the Cello ChiXtet: $15; “The Art of State”: $10] are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office (unless otherwise indicated), online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034