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REVIEW: "Icons On Inspiration"—LA Philharmonic/Hollywood Bowl

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

Starring Julie Andrews, Common, Katie Perry, Natalie Portman, Carlos Vives and Yuja Wang!

Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic began the celebrated, star-studded online event, Icons on Inspiration today, “Icons On Inspiration” to much acclaim.

Available for free at beginning February 6, 2021, at 6PM PST, “Icons On Inspiration” transforms the LA Phil’s annual winter gala into the largest fundraising event of the year. Streaming now, the free broadcast will remain available through March 6th, 2021.

The program, which opened with composer Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, features Dudamel in one-on-one online conversations with legendary award-winning actress, singer and writer Julie Andrews, Academy and Grammy Award-winning artist, actor, author and activist Common, superstar singer Katy Perry, Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman, Latin Grammy-winner Carlos Vives, and internationally acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang.

The viewing audience will hear from these iconic figures about how music inspires and uplifts them and about their enduring support for the art form. Interspersed between each conversation, the orchestra plays music selected and inspired by the celebrated guests: Ellington’s “Martin Luther King” from Three Black Kings in a new orchestration by Terence Blanchard; Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4; Berceuse from Stravinsky’s The Firebird; Márquez’ Danzón No. 2 in a version for solo piano performed by Yuja Wang; Romero’s Fuga con Pajarillo featuring members of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles); and “Das himmlische Leben” from Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in an arrangement by Erwin Stein and featuring soprano Liv Redpath.

"This year, music has been a lifeline for so many of us, helping to bring us together in spirit through the many challenges,” said Dudamel. “We wanted to create an event that honored that sense of hope and connection and celebrated the way that the orchestra can unite us in the service of something greater than ourselves. To be able to share the stage with these extraordinary cultural icons is a dream and privilege, and to be able to perform some of their favorite pieces of music is a gift. We are so grateful for their support, and we hope you enjoy this very special evening.”

Patron opportunities are now available with options to elevate the experience. Available benefits include a private performance featuring an ensemble of LA Phil musicians (virtual or in-person as safety allows), access to a private VIP Zoom room on the evening of the premiere, a musical score autographed by Gustavo Dudamel, and more. For more information, please visit:

Diane B. Paul and Andrea Chao-Kharma are the LA Phil Icons on Inspiration co-chairs. The event planning committee members include Christian Chivaroli, Jane Eisner, Francois Mobasser, Joseph Plascencia and Ann Ronus.

Proceeds from this special fundraising event will sustain the ongoing work of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and their musicians, enabling us to engage new audiences and to create the musical experiences that uplifts and connects the community.

Don’t miss the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with Gustavo Dudamel, conductor, February 6th at 6pm PST with Special Guests, Julie Andrews, Common, Katy Perry, Natalie Portman, Carlos Vives and Yuja Wang. For streaming, go to All performances were filmed outdoors at the Hollywood Bowl under strict adherence to public health guidelines, with all performers maintaining social distance.

Chris Daniels

Arts & Entertainment Reviewer

The Show Report


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