After playing home to concerts, theatrical productions and an Easter Sunrise service, the Hollywood Bowl kicked off its first official season in the summer of 1922. It was a barebones experience for spectators, who sat on temporary wooden benches to watch Alfred Hertz conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The scenery and the sounds, however, were hard to beat. Located in a bowl-shaped area of the Hollywood Hills that was once called Daisy Dell, the spot where the venue now stands was chosen, in part, for its natural acoustics. Those are amplified by electronics as well as the bandshell with its distinctive white arches. It's actually the Hollywood Bowl's fourth bandshell - the first two were designed by Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
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The Music Center was originally dedicated on Sept. 27, 1964. Beginning in October 2014, The Music Center kicks off a celebration 50 years in the making. The highlight of the festivities is The Music Center 50th Anniversary Spectacular, an on-stage extravaganza taking place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at the iconic venue where it all began, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. This star-studded 90-minute show will honor The Music Center and highlight the accomplishments of the past 50 years with special performances and tributes that include:
- Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center and the LA Phil team up for the presentation of a new work choreographed by Justin Peck and commissioned by The Music Center. Performed live by LA Dance Project to music presented in a simulcast performance by the LA Phil conducted by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, this world premiere performance will unite both Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in celebration.
- Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will perform an aria as part of a special tribute to the LA Opera, introduced by actor Christoph Waltz, and including a video tribute from LA Opera Eli and Edythe Broad General Director, Plácido Domingo.
- Los Angeles Master Chorale Artistic Director Grant Gershon will conduct signature works performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale as well as a unique collaborative performance of the banquet scene from Nixon in China with LA Opera.
- Highlights of musical theatre and drama produced by Center Theatre Group will fill the stage with song, dance and dramatic surprises.
- A special tribute to the 25 years that the Academy Awards were held on the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and much more.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime stage show, honoring a half-century of extraordinary artistic accomplishments and contributions with unforgettable, unprecedented performances and special collaborations.
Following the performance, The Music Center’s most generous donors are invited to a black tie 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner in a massive 120’x230’ tent on The Music Center Plaza, featuring a three-course meal prepared by Joachim Splichal’s Patina Catering. Guests of the glamorous gala celebration will be treated to more anniversary spectacle with a special surprise performance and dancing.