What an earthquake sounds like in mid-concert

What an earthquake sounds like in mid-concert


norman lebrecht

April 06, 2014

This official audio has been released by the Los Angeles Philharmonic:

**Actual Audio Recording** On March 28, 2014 at 9:09pm, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Philharmonic was six minutes into a performance of Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloé” with guest conductor Charles Dutoit when the quake hit. A strong jolt followed by a minute of rumbling did not unhinge the orchestra or Maestro Dutoit, and the stirring concert continued without a hitch.



Quite a contrast to the other concert we reported in Long Beach.


  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    You sure Rattle wasn’t on the podium-lol?

  • Clyde McConnell says:

    I once saw the superstructure of Disney Hall as it was being built (and a grand sculpture it was, at that point). My sense of it is that it’s likely one of the most earthquake-resilient large structures anywhere.

  • Papagena says:

    As a flutist, I simply have to comment on the courage and aritstry of LA Phil’s new Principal Flute Julien Beaudiment in this situation.

    Daphnis is probably the most difficult 1st flute part in the orchestral repertoire. Flutists’ careers are made or broken on their abiltiy to play the famous flute solo that occurs shortly after this sound clip. As a flutist, you walk into any performance of Dapnnis on edge.

    Factor in Dutoit, perhaps the greatest living interpreter of Daphnis, on the podium. And most important, consider that Julien Beaudiment is new to LA. A native Californian understands earthquakes. This was undoubtedly a new experience for Mr. Beaudiment.

    And yet, when you listen to this remarkable sound clip, the 1st voice that you hear after the audience turmoil is that of the solo flute. That was Julien, He made his entrance. You hear in his beautiful, expressive sound what he was probably feeling. That entrance was like a human voice. Unforgettable.

    I cannot imagine what it must have been like for this talented young Frenchman to have continued playing at such a high level under these circumstances.Bravisimo to Julien Beaudiment and to the LA Phil flute section and the orchestra for their outstanding courage and artistry.

  • Judy says:

    Extraordinary composure and concentration.

  • sixtus says:

    Given the tension in the hall, the closing orgy of Daphnis must have been . . . orgasmic. The earth DID move!

  • Steve Foster says:

    Great example of what separates the men from the boys.

  • m2n2k says:

    Without a doubt, Maestro Dutoit and the LA Phil are to be commended for such poise under the circumstances. But it is not fair to judge the other conductor and the rest of the musicians in Long Beach without knowing how much stronger and therefore scarier the building was shaking there in comparison with the Walt Disney Concert Hall.