Hollywood has new concertmaster

Hollywood has new concertmaster


norman lebrecht

October 10, 2019

The LA Phil has named Kathryn Eberle leader of its Hollywood Bowl orchestra.

Eberle, from Nashville, is currently associate concertmaster of the Utah Symphony.

She’ll need to upgrade the wardrobe.



  • Carol Anderson says:

    Seriously? It’s 2019, and we women STILL are being judged by our appearance. You are a misogynist and need to upgrade your wit, personality, and moral compass. Good luck.

    • John Kelly says:

      ….really………..fair comment

    • Guest says:

      Unless I’m mistaken, the Hollywood bowl orchestra plays in white coats/shirts, not black tie/all black.
      Correct me if I’m wrong, but this statement could apply to anyone joining if they dont already have white coat attire

      • Trvla says:

        We wear either black tux or all black (black shirt, pants, shoes).

      • HBO Member says:

        You entirely mistaken. We wear concert black/all black.

      • M2N2K says:

        You are completely mistaken. It is Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra – not Hollywood Bowl Orchestra – who wear white tops in Hollywood Bowl. Your comment is proof that people do often confuse the two, as pointed out by “LA Phil member” below here. Many people do not realize that LA Phil usually plays well over 80% of “orchestral” concerts in Hollywood Bowl while Hollywood Bowl Orchestra plays much less than 20%. Unlike in BostonSym/BostonPops situation, not a single LA Phil musician plays with the HBO.

  • Viola Violin says:

    Upgrade? WTF? She will likely just have to pull out her concert blacks. But hey Norman, it’s fitting with your reputation that you can’t just post news, but make a personal jab (that’s 100% without merit). Classy as ever.

  • LA Phil member says:

    No one comments on the fact that the Hollywood Bowl orchestra mentioned here has nothing to do with the LA Phil. So I will :-))) It’s a completely different orchestra. LA Phil also plays at the Bowl from July through September, that’s why some people get confused by this

    • norman lebrecht says:

      But the venue and the orchestra are operated by the LA Phil.

      • Bill says:

        They are operated by the same organization (LA Philharmonic Association) that operates the LA Phil orchestra, but the LA Phil orchestra does not operate the Hollywood Bowl orchestra and the players are disjoint sets. This is different than the relationship between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops.

      • Staff says:

        Venue is owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles, too.

  • David Ryle says:

    Seriously!!! Her wardrobe is a concern for you, Norman?

  • Larry says:

    Congratulations to her. Any relation to the great big band singer?


  • Anon says:

    Norman is right! LA’s top classical music critic is Mark Swed, who is famous for reviewing both what artists are wearing as well as what they are playing!

    Mr. Swed makes no distinction between men and women on this. He opines freely on the attire, and whatever else strikes him about the appearances of artists he reviews. He’s a fine writer and his reviews are quite good, but I’ve always seen it as a reflection on LA culture that he reviews clothing along with performances.

    A couple of examples come to mind: an excerpt of Mr. Swed’s review of violinist Lara St. John with LA Phil: ” She wore a slinky many-hued, multi-textured green gown, possibly swamp inspired, which boldly emphasized her figure and her highly physically playing.”

    And of course, we all remember Yuja’s “little orange dress” which rocketed her sense of fashion into the spotlight? That little orange dress debuted at the Hollywood Bowl and was made famous by Mark Swed when he reviewed her perfomance there.

    So, I’d say that Norman is spot on to mention the importance of fashion for any newly arrived high profile classical musician in LA. Mark Swed will be there listening and watching and your fashion choices could end up in a review in the LA Times!

    • Musician says:

      Ironic since if you saw Swed in person you’d confuse him for someone off of skid row.

    • Anon says:

      Geez. Dislike my comment much? Don’t shoot the messenger! Mark Swed is the classical music writer for the LA Times & he really does write about what people wear in his reviews. And it’s completely gender blind. I’ve seen him express his opinion on clothing choices & facial hair of male artists as well as female. I seem to recall mention of a new beard on an LA Phil guest conductor. This stuff is all out there in his reviews. Don’t “thumbs down” ME for pointing it out!

      • The View from America says:

        Just because someone is an “equal opportunity gender offender” when it comes to commenting on wardrobe, facial hair and the like doesn’t make it any more valid.

        It’s a concert, not a fashion show. Then again, it’s LA — where so much of everything is skin-deep …

        • Anon says:

          Agree. But it’s Mark Swed who does it, not me!

          Pointing it out does not mean that I agree with it, for heaven’s sake! It caught my eye as something quirky about his reviews, esp. several years ago. I am not the only person who’s noticed it. Just ask Lara St. John, tasked with soloing with LA Phil & written up for her “swamp inspired dress”.

          I think this idiosyncrasy may have been brought to Mr. Swed’s attention, because I’ve noticed he hasn’t doesn’t done it much recently. He did, however, make mention of Thibaudet not wearing his customary red socks at LA Phil’s season opening concert this year. But Thibaudet is a very fashion forward soloist, so it’s understandable.

          I’ve noticed that now Swed seems more interested in luxury cars, which has possibly eclipsed his interest in fashion. He’s made reference to Lamborghinis twice in recent reviews – as I recall one was about Thibaudet driving one and another about how new LA Chamber Orch. music director Jaime Martin conducted his season opening concert. Perhaps luxury cars are another important must-mention feature of the LA lifestyle. Who knows . . .

          • Anon says:

            Why do people keep “thumbs downing” my observation about Mark Swed’s reviews? I do not agree or disagree with him. I am not the person writing about fashion or cars in reviews. I am a reader who has noticed that these mentions appear in his reviews, that’s all. This is fact. Google his reviews & you will see exactly the same thing. It’s an observation based on fact. I am not expressing an opinion I am simply pointing it out. What is there to dislike exactly? Unless Mr Swed himself or his fan club resent the observation & are doing the disliking. That explanation aside, what else could possibly be the reason for anyone to thumbs down an observation based on fact reported in a comment by another reader? Sorry, I don’t get it.

  • Kathleen says:

    It’s 2019–I’d like to think that we’ve all learned to not reduce women to their appearance. Keep your commentary about the music. I doubt you’d be making comments about her appearance if she were a man.

  • Gail Kruvand says:

    Women are constantly subjected to these sexist micro-aggressions. Thanks for showing your true colors.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      I wish I knew what you are talking about. She’ll need different concertwear in the Bowl than she would in Utah. Simple.

      • Louise Vickerman says:

        If you actually bothered to do any research on the Utah Symphony you’d find we perform at all kinds of venues in a wide variety of required dress from formal black for our masterworks to pit black for the Utah Opera productions to white jacket & white/black for ladies for the summer outdoor Deer Valley Festival season & colored formal evening gowns for gala performances. Im confident that Kathryn has a perfectly adequate wardrobe!

      • CurlyQ111 says:

        No actually, they wear white tops and black bottoms. Not Hollywood style. It’s classical music style,

      • HBO Member says:

        Wrong. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra wears concert black for most of their engagements. Every once in a while, we’ll wear “all black,” which only affects what the men wear. Not sure how upgrading her wardrobe applies here.

      • Katherine Galligan says:

        Sorry, you said upgrade, not different. Also a diss to Utah

      • Saxon Broken says:

        “Micro-aggression” is just a phrase that allows the person to be aggressive to those whose opinions they don’t like, trying to shut them up. You weren’t aggressive, but she doesn’t like what you said (she wilfully [mis]-interpreted it as being sexist) so you are “micro-aggressive”.

  • Utah Symphony musician says:

    Shame on you. Aren’t we supposed to be supporting each other?

  • Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Musician says:

    As a member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and colleague of Kathryn’s, it’s safe to say she’s got all of the concert attire she’ll need. The HBO women wear all-black for our performances.

  • SemiSaltyDoc says:

    Yeh. My initial reaction was, “Ouch! That’s pretty sexist!” And completely uncalled for. You’re an awfully good music news aggregator, Norman, but you keep screwing it up with misogynistic fails. When will you ever grow up?

  • George Brown says:

    Classy remarks like this remind me why I so rarely visit this site anymore.

  • James Hall says:

    Wonderful musician! HBO is lucky to have her.

  • gLoOt says:

    Dude I’m Ill’s wardrobe is also not THAT elegant…