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Classical Pick of the Week: Salonen's Last First Concert

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The LA Times just published a story on Esa-Pekka Salonen. An interesting anecdote from the article revealed that People had selected him to be on their 50 sexiest people list, and that he had declined(!). This is all tied together somehow because this is Salonen's 17th and last year as Music director for the LA Phil. After this year, he begins his tenure at the London Philharmonia and Gustavo Dudamel takes over as the next young hotshot from out of town. For fans of Salonen he will still be around occasionally, since he has a home in Brentwood, so you don't have to go to London to see him. The best advice LAist can give is to see him as many times this year and the dates are more flexible now than they would be in upcoming seasons.

This week is the opening gala at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, with music from Stravinsky, Adams, Sondheim, and Ligeti performed with some familiar faces, including Barbara Hannigan, Audra McDonald, and Dane Upshaw. It takes place this Thursday at 7 PM, with a full gala package being offered that includes front orchestra seats, a cocktail party, and a black-tie affair after the concert. It might cost a little more, but there are very few opportunities where you can schmooze with the artists and the Board, and perhaps your last chance to see Salonen up close. This concert starts off what promises to be an exciting season, with a variety of well-known violinists, pianists, and conductors (regrettably only one cellist) coming in for a night or two to share with all of you. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster or the box office at the Disney Hall which is probably the best way to go, since those "convenience" charges add up to more than paying for gas to get to Downtown and for carbon offsets for driving to Downtown. From the last time we checked, there were very few tickets available, so get it while you can!

Opening Gala, Salonen's Last Season
October 2nd, 2008, 7 PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall

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Photo by puck90 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr