January 31, 2019

Gustavo Dudamel & the L.A. Phil Pay Homage to Legendary Film Composer John Williams

On a perfect Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of taking 52 DayTripper guests to see Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic playing some of the most celebrated and recognizable film compositions written by John Williams at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Williams has written many film scores that are a part of the American cinema culture. In fact, eight of the 20 top grossing films of all time have film scores written by Williams.

Music has a way of inciting feelings, memories, making our palms sweat or quickening our hearts. Sometimes you only need to hear two notes to know what movie that piece originated from (does Jaws come to mind?).

Dudamel took us on a journey starting with the grand music of the opening Olympic ceremonies. Not only did it make you feel you can rise to the levels of athletic greatness, but behind the orchestra was a large screen showing some memorable moments from the Olympics that added to the music.

The program continued with excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws and Harry Potter with some pieces accompanied by movie excerpts.

Featured violinist Simone Porter gave a haunting solo of the theme from Schindler’s List. It was achingly beautiful, heart breaking and uplifting all at the same time. I looked around me and noticed I wasn’t the only one who, at one point, closed my eyes as I felt the strings of her violin bring tears to my eyes. The silence, from the sold out crowd after her piece, was almost deafening, until it wasn’t.  The entire hall gave a standing ovation and cheered in appreciation!

The second half of the program included phenomenal performances from Hook, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones to name a few.

Dudamel finished with selections from film scores of the Star Wars series. John Williams’ score to the original 1977 Star Wars film had been selected by the American Film Institute as the greatest film score of all time.

As if the afternoon performance wasn’t enough, John Williams himself was in the audience and came up on stage to be greeted by rousing cheers and applause by the audience, Dudamel and the L.A. Phil.

Gustavo Dudamel is a master at his craft and is so closely attuned and in sync with the orchestra. With his enthusiastic wand waving, not to mention his signature brown curly hair (his hair has it’s own Facebook page!), he brings such an energy to the concert hall. I’d like to think that there was an extra umpf to his performance due to the great week he had leading up to Sunday. On Tuesday (1/22/19) he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and yesterday (1/26/19) was his 38th birthday.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is unlike any other. With its cool sailing-inspired curves, billowing forms and whimsical shapes, it is sure to entice you to come into the concert hall and be enveloped with the warm Douglas-Fur that covers the walls and ceilings and the floors that are finished in oak all to enhance the acoustics of this one-of-a-kind venue.

Perhaps you will join DayTripper on future tours to this world class venue and experience what myself and my guests did on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

~ Leslie Winkel
DayTripper Tour Manager

Tour: Dudamel & the L.A. Phil at Disney Concert Hall
Date: January 27, 2019


Categories: Blog