Katy Perry goes classical, sort of

Katy Perry goes classical, sort of


norman lebrecht

August 15, 2018

The pop superstar has joined the LA Phil centennial bandwaggon.

Press release:

The Los Angeles Philharmonic announced today that global superstar Katy Perry will join the line-up of special guest artists for Celebrate LA!: LA Phil 100 at the Bowl, a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, September 30, 2018, at 7PM. Perry will join Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to perform a short set of top hits from her illustrious career.


  • Doug says:

    Looks like the LA Phil swallowed the Postmodern prescription that untalented celebrities can polish their resumes through strident political posturing. Just make sure the autotune has adequate contingencies built in. Can’t taint the approved partisan agenda now, can we?

  • Caravaggio says:

    Figures. Also, illustrious? WTF.

  • Karl says:

    Will there be dancing sharks?

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Let’s go all the way tonight. No Regrets. Just Love.

    Followed by a little Brahms, yes?

  • buxtehude says:

    No she is among the sort you need for such occasions. Not a few of her vids have well above 500 millions hits. Two are above 2 1/2 Billion. If one in a million of one of those last alone decides to attend a symphony, can you tell me how many tickets that totals? And she’s a great admirer of better writing than her own.

    Want to complain about piano players, aesthetes? Try Billy Joel. Billy Joel goes bang bang bang bang bang. After decades of performing the same old songs bang bang bang bang bang he is today unbelievable huge. He’s a big fan of classical music performance and has endorsed and donated to to it.

    Why are pop performers constantly joining with the unlikeliest rivals on stage? To bring new listeners into their respective tents. The LA Phil can’t do much for Katy P but she can do for it.

    Thank her.

    • Mikko says:

      “And she’s a great admirer of better writing than her own.”

      Agreed, and better singing than her own. Alas, both are pretty low bars.

      (Not passing judgment on this event at all, but just as an aside: I find it curious that many of Katy Perry’s generation of pop singers don’t seem to even care about their vocals. You hear people on stage and actually wish that they were lip-syncing, since the live vocals are all over the place and the singer doesn’t seem worried in the least. And this will happen in very big productions. If they’re spending millions on the stage, dancers, lights etc., would kill them to take a vocal lesson?)

      • buxtehude says:

        She is far, very far from the worst in this. Nor is it just her generation. Jackson Browne has sung flat his whole long career, in studio recordings as well as live. Then there’s Dylan, always more interested in the impulse within a song than its surface.

        Not all of what we refer to as music is actually about music. Madonna was about dancing and attitude. Gaga: attitude. Perry: attitudes, brands. Stevie Nicks — now there’s a case. She couldn’t sing, couldn’t dance, couldn’t act — yet you couldn’t take your eyes off her, pure charisma. The strength of her own self-fascination just pulled you in.

        All part of part of the big-loud-party phase of growing up.

        Katy P is (or was) a huge admirer of John Mayer, one of the most melodic of the today crowd, or was it yesterday? Here they care together, see how sweet they are (were), see how cleverly he builds a climax from something kind of minimal:


  • Karl says:

    Gustavo Dudamel could wear guyliner. That might help ticket sales.

  • Xxx says:

    Don’t they have an idea how to stop losing their image and quality?

  • SoCal Dan says:

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s centenary celebration (called “LA Phil 100”) consists of the following events:

    California Soul – Opening Night Concert and Gala on September 27, 2018. “The season begins with a gala celebration of Golden State creativity, from John Adams to Frank Zappa. Elkhanah Pulitzer directs this festive program, featuring masters spanning the full spectrum of music, with artistic surprises galore and Gustavo Dudamel at the helm.”

    WDCH Dreams from September 27 to October 6, 2018. “Walt Disney Concert Hall takes the spotlight – almost literally – in the opening week. Media artist Refik Anadol will transform the Hall through projections on its steel skin by using light, data and machine intelligence that allows materials from the LA Phil’s digital archives to “dream,” giving consciousness to the building and forming its own patterns, bringing the exterior to life.”

    Celebrate LA! on September 30, 2018. “Be part of this history-making event as the LA Phil kicks off its Centennial season with an epic festival showcasing L.A.’s creative spirit, with 1800 musicians, artists, and dancers coming together to perform at the festival’s six hubs and along the eight-mile route itself. And that’s not all – the evening ends with a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl, where Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic and welcome very special guests – including Katy Perry, Herbie Hancock, Kali Uchis, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), and more to the Bowl stage.”