LA Phil hires experimental opera director

The Dude and his team have taken on a dramatic animator to reconfigure presentation across their season. This is radical, blue-sky thinking, far beyond the conventional operating modes of other US orchs. It could be a trend-setter. Press release below.

borda dudamel


Los Angeles, CA (SEPTEMBER 2, 2015)- Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and President and CEO Deborah Borda today announced the appointment of Yuval Sharon as the organization’s Artist-Collaborator. The three-year appointment begins in the 2016/17 season, and continues through the LA Phil’s Centennial season, in 2018/19.

“Yuval is an extraordinary director and producer,” said Dudamel. “His projects challenge us to think differently about how music and the arts can play a part in our lives, and they make us look at the world around us in different ways. We’re giving him the platform of the LA Phil to work with creatively, and I can’t wait to see the results.”

In this newly-created post, Sharon, with the support of his experimental opera company The Industry, will curate multiple projects for the LA Phil using his experience in developing new works and re-interpreting established works. These projects will cut across the LA Phil’s various series and incorporate several performance genres. These varied performances will take place not only within Walt Disney Concert Hall, but also outside of the venue in diverse locations throughout Los Angeles. The collaboration marks the first multi-year association Sharon has entered into with a major U.S. orchestra.

“Collaboration will be an essential component for thriving arts institutions in the 21st century. Their value in terms of creativity and outreach will be a key to the future and how we challenge ourselves to grow,” said Borda.”Gustavo and I can’t imagine a more gifted partner than Yuval as we search for new ways to stretch our boundaries. We are in for quite a ride!”

Sharon’s latest project with the company, Hopscotch, an opera performed in 24 moving cars, premieres October 31, 2015. The Chicago-born Sharon made Los Angeles his home after connecting with the city’s open attitude toward artistic exploration. His first experience at Walt Disney Concert Hall was when he attended an LA Phil Green Umbrella series performance and was struck by the audience’s engagement with the music and noted how pivotal the series is to the organization. It was after that and other equally inspirational experiences through his exposure to Los Angeles’ arts scene that he founded The Industry in 2010. Sharon will continue, during his time as Artist-Collaborator, to also produce works independently with The Industry.

“The invitation to play a role in the most innovative musical organization in the country is a profound honor, most importantly for the opportunity to develop a deep relationship over three years,” said Sharon. “My hope is for a sustained exchange of ideas during this residency, where the sum total of the individual explorations we undertake add up to a complete disruption of a conventional trajectory for an organization and a director.’

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  • As my auntie Gladys sighed: ‘Finally someone who really understands that we have to get rid of those boring, stupid, outdated concert types with lame people playing dull stuff by dead white males who have nothing to tell us…. Finally we can begin to amuse ourselves on concerts.’ Maybe we can finally get her out of her bed.

  • If “applause between movements” is the greatest calamity in the future of classical music, then the latter is in better shape than I thought.

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