Near Perfect Evening in Downtown LA

We had the one of the loveliest evening tonight that I can remember.

We sneaked into The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, thanks to Ray Beaty’s quick thinking to ask the guard if we could JUST go to the gift shop. (The museum is free; it’s just there was a line at the front door.) Anyway, with some coaxing, our friend Jared and I were cajoled by Ray into the main museum. We agreed once we saw the guard didn’t seem remotely interested in where we were. Alas, the museum is fabulous – beautiful interior spaces and thought-provoking art – and I took lots of pictures. Unfortunately, my computer is messing up tonight and won’t let me download my photos so that will have to wait for another day.

The second part of this amazing evening was a superlative night at Disney Hall with the LA Phil. The pianist, Yefim Bronfman, was the soloist for the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major Op 15 and he had such a gentle touch on the keys that there were times when the entire audience was bending a collective ear to listen to the soft tones. He received four standing ovations and hence played another piece. I didn’t recognize it, but it was lovely.

At intermission, we ran into a former volunteer from The Breakfast Club; Charles and I have washed and rinsed many a dish together. It was great to see him and he said he hoped to return to volunteer again soon. That would be a treat. Also, we met two friends of his. We were all Episcopalians, just from three different churches. You can’t keep those Episcopalians out of Disney Hall!

The best part of the evening was the Mahler Symphony No 1 in D Major, which may have just become my favorite Mahler symphony. It was so absolutely gorgeous that at the end, everyone in the audience leapt to their feet and cheered. This was conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, who received his own four standing ovations since we all simply kept cheering. Everyone was still energized as we filed out of the hall, abuzz with how emotional and touching the music had been.

I sat next to a fourteen year old boy who told me that he is a timpano player. He said that he would be attending Interlachen Center for the Arts in Michigan in the fall and that he was very excited about it. “Are you nervous or scared?” I asked. “Both,” he said. When I asked him what his aspirations were, he said, “To play right down there on that stage.” I told him I thought that could be a wonderful life. He was tapping his fingers all the way through the Mahler and was one of the first to jump up at the end. To have such focus at fourteen. Amazing.

Ray and I agreed this was a near perfect evening. Modern art and classical music. That’s a combo hard to beat, especially when it involves the incomparable LA Phil!

The Broad

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Third Floor of The Broad

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Disney Hall

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Esa-Pekka Salonen

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