LOS ANGELES - After a year in COVID silence, the sound of music will again fill the historic Hollywood Bowl Saturday as the Los Angeles Philharmonic returns to the famed stage to perform the first in a series of free concerts for health care workers, first responders and other essential workers.
Gustavo Dudamel, the philharmonic's music and artistic director, will lead the orchestra in a performance featuring Jessie Montgomery's "Starburst,'' Barber's "Adagio for Strings'' and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, "Eroica.'' The performance will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube and simulcast on KUSC, which will re-broadcast the performance on Monday.
"I cannot describe the joy and hope that I feel at the thought of returning to the stage with our musicians, in front of a live audience,'' Dudamel said earlier. "We have found so many extraordinary and creative ways to share music together over the course of this pandemic, but truly nothing can take the place of performing in person. And nothing can compare to the magic of making music at the Hollywood Bowl, where the sound waves mingle with the soft breeze of a Southern California evening. My friends, we have missed you, and we cannot wait to share music in person again.''
The performance will be the first in front of an audience at the Bowl since it was shuttered -- like other music venues -- due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The free philharmonic concerts for health care and other front-line workers are being sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Roughly 4,000 people --seated in a socially distanced manner and wearing masks -- are expected to attend Saturday's performance.
On Monday, the L.A. Philharmonic Association and Amazon Prime Video will treat essential workers to a screening of the upcoming film "P!nk: All I Know So Far,'' with the hit-making artist appearing on stage to introduce the screening. The film tracks the artist on her 2019 'Beautiful Trauma'' world tour.
On May 22, Dudamel will again lead the Philharmonic, performing Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. A June 12 concert will feature Thundercat -- a Grammy winner this year for best progressive R&B album -- and Flying Lotus. The final free concert on June 26 will feature Grammy-winning Los Angeles-based band La Santa Cecilia.
The Bowl will reopen to the general public on the Fourth of July weekend with a traditional fireworks concert.