The Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of four venues of the Los Angeles Music Center, officially opened in October 2003 as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The concert hall, as the name implies, was initially funded by Lillian Disney in 1987 to provide a venue where the people of LA could share in her husband’s appreciation for the arts. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall not only offers patrons unparalleled aural entertainment but also an unparalleled visual feast. Although the official home of a classic symphony orchestra, the Walt Disney Concert Hall hosts a variety of shows and musical concerts. Here’s a quick guide to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. — Nicola A. Menzie
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is accessible via public transportation either by bus or Metro Rail and is closest to the Red Line Civic Center Metro stop at 101 S. Hill Street (at the southwest corner of First and Hill).
Self-parking is available for $9 beginning at 4:30 p.m. for certain events, as well as valet parking for $23 beginning at 5 p.m. for certain shows. View the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s parking map and/or call the Five Star Parking service the center uses for more information — (212) 687-4484.
Before You Go
Shows run year-round at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, however the LA Philharmonic’s 2010/2011 season doesn’t officially open until October (with the Opening Night Gala & Concert scheduled for Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.). There are several other classical music programs featured in the concert hall’s Tuesday and Thursday Classics series.
The two major performance spaces at the venue, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, is packed throughout the year with musical, film, dance, theatrical entertainment.
Patrons interested in attending an event at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for classical, jazz, contemporary and world music as well as for special events, are encouraged to buy a subscription for the season although tickets for individual shows can be purchased.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Box Office Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.; and two hours before an event on Saturday, Sundas and Monday. Patrons can also make a purchase over the phone by calling (323) 850-2000 daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Internet users can also purchase tickets via LAPhil.com/tickets or through Ticketmaster.com.
What To Expect
If you want to get a taste of what to expect before attending a performance by the LA Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, there are numerous videos and audio files on the company’s website under “Watch+Listen” (http://www.laphil.com/watchlisten/index.cfm).
In addition to the performance arts events held year-round at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the company also hosts guided tours of the concert all. Tours are about an hour long, begin in the Grand Lobby of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and are conducted daily by the Music Center. Self-guided audio tours and an online virtual tour are also offered (http://www.laphil.com/watchlisten/videos/index.cfm?id=86).
Tours at the Music Center
135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Besides organizing and hosting shows, the LA Philharmonic has also created Young Musicians programs that cater to teachers and students. The goal of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) is to “build youth orchestras in ‘underserved’ communities.” Learn about YOLA and other Education and Community Programs with the LA Philharmonic.
If you have some time before or after a show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, it is highly recommended that you wet your palate at this shaved ice mecca. In addition to having a stationary location in Northridge, Get Shaved also has a mobile unit that makes regular stops throughout Los Angeles, but you pretty much have to call them up or check their Facebook or Twitter status ahead of time to see where they’ll be on which day. If you happen to catch them, you’ll be very pleased — the prices are affordable (starting at $2), the flavors are many and the ice is fine, fluffy and smooth.
444 S Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
This LA sandwich shop is anything but typical. Take the Baja Surf Roll — a sauteed Pacific lobster with meyer lemon celery aioli, applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes, and shredded romaine on Breadbar’s roll ($12.95) or the Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich — a roasted chicken breast with green apples and dried cherries in a light yogurt mango curry dressing (no mayo), cucumber, organic farmer’s market greens, cranberry chutney, red pepper compote on curcama hazelnut bread ($8.25). Other creations include Drunk’n Goat in Paris and Ham & Gruyere Grilled Cheese, and Mendocino Farms also offers to prepare their “best sandwiches salad style.”
Cools Clothing Store
110 Japanese Village Plaza Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012
This vintage clothing store is a considered a gem of Little Tokyo and patrons are sure to find cool clothing indeed, accessories and little knick-knacks that aren’t easily found elsewhere.