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Gustav Mahler & Gabriella Smith

Los Angeles Philharmonic/Dudamel

Gustavo conducting with great vigour

Gustavo Dudamel and his Los Angeles Philharmonic close their Barbican residency with Mahler’s great song of loss and love, and Gabriella Smith’s shimmering new vision of the California skies.

A struggle from tragedy to triumph; a love song hiding in plain sight – Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is many things. For Dudamel, having studied the symphony closely with Claudio Abbado in his youth, it’s ‘a musical reference point for my life’. But in a move typical of our International Orchestral Partner, Mahler is paired with something unmistakably West Coast, in Gabriella Smith’s Kerouac-inspired Tumblebird Contrails.

Just as Dudamel has his own story to tell with this music, so does the young San Franciscan composer, who hears something utterly personal in the Californian coastal skies. Inspired by a single moment in time looking out across the Pacific Ocean, this glorious soundscape pulls on the hallucinatory sounds of the sea and imagines the ecstasy of wind in the wings of soaring birds in a truly liberating musical experience. 

End-time to be announced nearer the event.


‘The LA Phil, colossal in ambition and experimental in spirit, has redefined what an orchestra can be‘

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an orchestra playing classical music in the barbican hall in central london

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