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The story behind the series

The show must go on

About SOUND/STAGE and the LA Phil

Sound/Stage is a free online concert series produced by LA Phil Media, the media and digital initiatives arm of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Featuring an eclectic range of performing artists, the series brings the LA Phil’s musical offerings to your digital screen, along with interviews, playlists, and program notes that shed new light on each episode’s theme. Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series is filmed at the Hollywood Bowl, where our musicians can perform together while socially distanced.  

Under the direction of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives, and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert HallHollywood Bowl, and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms.

How to Watch

You can watch Sound/Stage anytime, any place on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone through your web browser.

Watch on your TV via a streaming video player (i.e., smart TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation) through the YouTube app. You can also watch through your Chromecast device on a Chrome browser, screen-mirroring to your Apple TV, through the Facebook Watch, or using an HDMI or VGA cable. See here for detailed instructions on all the ways to watch.

The first season of Sound/Stage is available now, with the second season airing biweekly beginning March 5.

A look behind-the-scenes

In the image gallery below, you can see the behind-the-scenes preparations required to welcome the orchestra back to the Hollywood Bowl stage and make Sound/Stage a reality. 

  • Following scientific studies and industry best practices, all unmasked players were separated by at least 12 feet, were surrounded by plexiglass barriers to limit particle spread, and followed new guidelines for cleaning and clearing spit valves.

  • Producing SOUND/STAGE involved re-thinking how the orchestra performs to keep everyone safe. All performers and support staff were tested for COVID-19 in the days before filming with drive-thru tests given in the Hollywood Bowl parking lot.

  • New stage setups were designed to stay within County health guidelines for social distancing. All performers and support staff were given COVID-19 testing.

  • Boxes and hard lines on this plot for performers of Kamasi Washington’s BECOMING episode in season one represent plexiglass barriers that are built to separate wind players who can’t wear masks while performing.

  • The original plan was to use standard plexiglass drum shields for wind players, but COVID-19 has caused many plexiglass products to be on backorder. Due to that scarcity, these barriers were custom-built for SOUND/STAGE.

  • For season one's Dawn by Thomas Adès performance, the required orchestra was too large to fit on stage. The composer fully supported the idea of honoring the social distance requirement for this piece’s American premiere, and the brass section was placed in the front row of box seats.

  • To allow for the facial cues that are inherit to Gustavo Dudamel’s conducting style, he was placed further away from the front musicians closest to him to so he could remove his mask.

  • Performers were filmed by a total of six cameras that combined Steadicam operators among the musicians, a 50-foot crane, two newly made 10-foot towers in the audience, and one camera mounted on an aerial drone.

Sound/Stage Season 2 Lineup

Episode details

EPISODE 1: MAR 5 The Carnival of the Animals

Pianists Yuja Wang and David Fung join the LA Phil to explore composer Saint-Saëns’ colorful creatures, featuring animations, stories from around the world, and Gustavo Dudamel with his son Martín.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Yuja Wang and David Fung, piano Martin Dudamel, co-host

SAINT-SAËNS The Carnival of the Animals

Support for this episode is provided by Barbara and Jay Rasulo

EPISODE 2: MAR 19 A Pan-American Musical Feast

Enjoy the many sounds and flavors of the Americas with music by composers Tania León, Paul Desenne, and Aaron Copland. Plus chef José Andrés stops by to talk with Gustavo.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Joseé Andrés, special guest

Tania LEÓN Fanfarria Paul DESENNE Sinfonía Burocratica ed’Amazzonica: “Bananera” COPLAND Appalachian Spring Suite (chamber version)

EPISODE 3: APR 4 Easter Sunrise at the Hollywood Bowl

A hundred years ago, the Los Angeles Philharmonic played the first concert at the Hollywood Bowl for an Easter sunrise service. Celebrate this milestone with soprano Nadine Sierra, gospel duo Mary Mary, and Gustavo leading the LA Phil.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Mary Mary, gospel singers Nadine Sierra, soprano

BACH (arr. ALLEN) Air pour les trompettes MOZART Exsultate, jubilate Trad. (arr. Carlos SIMON) All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Support for this episode is provided by Molly Munger and Stephen R. English

EPISODE 4: APR 16 Grand Pianola Music

Music that began as composer John Adams’ dream of California coastlines and limousine-pianos on the freeway soars at the Hollywood Bowl.

Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Elissa Johnston, soprano Holly Sedillos, soprano Kristen Toedtman, mezzo-soprano Deborah O’Grady, visuals

John ADAMS Grand Pianola Music

Support for this episode is provided by the Frank Gehry Fund for Creativity

EPISODE 5: APR 30 Unfinished

Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Schubert’s much celebrated Eighth Symphony, the “Unfinished.”

Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”

EPISODE 6: JUNE 18 Common with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil

The rapper, writer, poet, and activist teams up with the LA Phil—and chats with Gustavo.

Common Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

EPISODE 7: JUNE 25 Carlos Vives with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil

Carlos Vives performs a special acoustic set with the LA Phil and joins Gustavo Dudamel in conversation

Carlos Vives Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

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