Los Angeles Philharmonic returns to the Hollywood Bowl – 2021 Summer Series

Happening this Saturday is one of several FREE concerts for frontline and essential workers (invited guests only) as The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association celebrates its historic return to the Bowl.

The rest of us eagerly anticipate the triumphant resumption of their summer season at the Hollywood Bowl, following last year’s cancellation of its summer program.

Adhering to the latest public health and reopening guidelines issued by Los Angeles County, the LA Phil will offer more than 50 performances, including 14 concerts with Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. From classical music to pop, reggae, jazz and film, the season showcases acclaimed artists and the return of numerous Bowl favorites.

“With the return of in-person performances to the Hollywood Bowl, we are seeing both the return of a beloved summer tradition and the reunion of a community built by sharing in live musical experiences with one another. From the artists on stage to the hundreds of returning seasonal employees, we can’t wait to welcome audiences back to the Bowl and begin the kind of healing and celebration that music can provide. With the support of Kaiser Permanente, we are fortunate to open our season with free concerts for the frontline and essential workers whose heroism brought us all through the darkest days of the pandemic and continue with an incredible line-up that features a little something for everyone.”

Chief Executive Officer and David C. Bohnett Chief Executive Officer Chair Chad Smith.
Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel

Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel said, “Music-making is ultimately about the shared experience of people coming together and being united in a communion of sound. For musicians, there is no greater joy than feeling our instruments resonate in harmony with those around, and that is why this return to in-person performances at the Hollywood Bowl is such a powerfully important moment. After the many challenges of this past year, we all feel a profound sense of joy and gratitude to be able to once again share music with you, and especially to be able to offer these opening concerts to our heroes on the front lines, who have given their all to keep us safe this past year.”



To kick off the Hollywood Bowl reopening in advance of the concerts accessible to the public, the LA Phil is hosting five free concerts for healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers in appreciation for all they have done for Los Angeles throughout the pandemic. Three of the first free concerts at the Hollywood Bowl are made possible through a partnership with Kaiser Permanente. They will include two performances by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil (May 15 & 22) playing repertoire from Tchaikovsky to Montgomery, and the Grammy-winning L.A.-based band La Santa Cecilia (June 26), known for its sound infusing contemporary cumbia with bossa nova, jazz and pop. The May 15 and June 26 concerts will also be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. In collaboration with Amazon Prime Video, the upcoming Amazon Original movie P!nk: All I Know So Far (May 17) will be screened live in advance of its worldwide release on Prime Video, including a special appearance and introduction of the movie from P!nk herself.

The fifth free concert will be with L.A. artists Thundercat and Flying Lotus (June 12) in their first performance since Thundercat won a Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album earlier this year. The concert is generously sponsored by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, GRoW @ Annenberg.


Hollywood Bowl Traditions

The Hollywood Bowl will reopen to the public with a perennial favorite, the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, this year featuring Kool & the Gang and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by Principal Conductor Thomas Wilkins (July 3, 4). The month of August will feature the beloved Sing-A-Long Sound of Music with host Melissa Peterman (August 21), and the Tchaikovsky Spectacular with fireworks returns (August 6, 7).

Christina Aguilera

Special Events

The broad range of performances will encompass everything from a one-night-only return performance by Yo-Yo Ma with Bach’s Six Suites for solo cello (September 14) to Viola Davis (July 15) and Christina Aguilera (July 16, 17) and H.E.R. (August 13, 14) making their LA Phil debuts with Gustavo Dudamel. Actress, singer and songwriter Cynthia Erivo makes her LA Phil debut with Thomas Wilkins (July 30). The music of film will be explored with the Maestro of the Movies John Williams (Sept 3–5 conducted by both Williams and David Newman), and the summer tradition of watching movies under the stars with live orchestral accompaniment will continue with the world premiere of an orchestral arrangement of Mark Knopfler’s score for The Princess Bride (LA Phil, conducted by David Newman, July 31), Black Panther, the first Marvel movie to be screened with live orchestral accompaniment (LA Phil, September 10–12) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert (Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by Justin Freer, September 17).   


Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil

Throughout the season, Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct the LA Phil in 14 performances, including opening the classical series with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with Viola Davis as narrator, the program also includes Margaret Bonds Montgomery Variations, written in dedication to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery marches (July 15); an all Gershwin concert featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and countertenor John Holiday (August 10); the LA Phil premiere of Bologne’s (Chevalier de Saint-Georges) Violin Concerto No. 9 with violinist Randall Goosby (August 12); Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Cello Concerto with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (August 17); Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and de Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat showcasing violinist Maria Dueñas, cellist Pablo Ferrández, pianist Sergio Tiempo and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (August 19); and an all-Mozart program featuring LA Phil Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour and Principal Viola Teng Li (September 28).                 

The 2021 season will also include the debut of Dudamel’s Pan-American Music Initiative, a multi-year undertaking celebrating the creativity of the Americas announced in 2020 and delayed by the pandemic. As part of this initiative, Dudamel leads a Latin music celebration at the Bowl with the world premiere of Arturo Márquez’s Violin Concerto Fandango, written for Anne Akiko Meyers (August 24), a program celebrating the centennial of Astor Piazzolla (August 26) and Carlos Vives joining Gustavo and the LA Phil (August 27, 28).

Tianyi Lu

Hollywood Bowl Debuts

Artists making their LA Phil and Hollywood Bowl debuts include pianists Isata Kanneh-Mason, Eric Lu and Lukáš Vondráček; violinists Maria Dueñas and Randall Goosby; and cellists Sterling Elliott and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Artists performing at the Hollywood Bowl for the first time are conductors Marta GardolińskaTianyi LuGemma NewEnluis Montes Olivar, and Ruth Reinhardt, all former Dudamel Fellows; singers/vocalists James BlakeJulia BullockCynthia ErivoBrittany Howard, Earl SweatshirtJohn Holiday and Jamila Woods; and actress Viola Davis.

Ziggy Marley

Returning Artists

Featured returning artists include Kool & the GangDave Koz, Ledisi, Ziggy MarleySergio MendesGeorgia Anne MuldrowCarlos Vives and Tower of Power, as well as conductors Paolo BortolameolliJustin Freer, David Newman, Bramwell ToveyThomas Wilkins and John Williams, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, pianists Aaron DiehlHélène GrimaudHerbie HancockJean-Yves Thibaudet, and Sergio Tiempo, violinists Martin ChalifourRay Chen, and Anne Akiko Meyers, cellists Pablo Ferrández and Yo-Yo Ma; trumpetist Alison Balsom, violist Teng Li, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and host/actress Melissa Peterman.


Premieres and Commissions

In addition to the premiere of the Arturo Márquez Violin Concerto, the LA Phil will present the American premiere of Thea Musgrave’s Trumpet Concerto, a 2019 co-commission by the LA Phil, Tianyi Lu will conduct the orchestra with soloist Alison Balsom. The program will also include the world premiere of Ricardo Molla’s Fanfare for a New Beginning dedicated to the LA Phil brass and percussion sections (July 20). Enluis Monte Olivar’s program includes the LA Phil premiere of Evencio Castellanos’ Santa Cruz de Pagairigua (July 22) and on August 5 Gemma New will present the LA Phil premiere of Warp and Weft by Sarah Gibson, a member of the LA Phil Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program teaching faculty.

Jazz Plus
The Jazz Plus series returns with Ledisi singing the music of Nina Simone accompanied by the LA Phil and conducted by Thomas Wilkins (July 24), a night featuring Dave Koz and Tower of Power (August 8), and Blame it on Rio! with Sergio Mendes featuring Carnival dancers (August 15). Herbie Hancock, the LA Phil’s Creative Chair for Jazz, will close out the series on September 26. 

KCRW’s World Festival

The LA Phil is proud to partner with KCRW again this season to present four concerts featuring Kamasi Washington and Earl Sweatshirt (July 18), Reggae Night XIX with Ziggy Marley and the Wailing Souls (August 1), Brittany Howard with Jamila Woods and Georgia Anne Muldrow (September 18), and James Blake with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Thomas Wilkins (September 25).

Lukáš Vondráček

Guest conductors and additional LA Phil performances

Enluis Montes Olivar leads his first performance at the Hollywood Bowl featuring works by Castellanos, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky (July 22); also in their debuts with the LA Phil, conductor Ruth Reinhardt couples works by Mendelssohn with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 featuring Eric Lu (July 27) and Gemma New leads Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor  featuring Isata Kanneh-Mason (August 5); Bramwell Tovey returns to conduct a Tchaikovsky Spectacular weekend with fireworks featuring the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, the Rococo Variations with cellist Sterling Elliott, and the 1812 Overture with USC Trojan Marching Band (August 6, 7); LA Phil Associate Conductor and 2016/17 Dudamel Fellow Paolo Bortolameolli leads the orchestra in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto featuring Ray Chen in (August 31); the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s Principal Conductor, Thomas Wilkins, conducts the LA Phil in an all-American program with pianist Aaron Diehl and soprano Julia Bullock in works by Margaret Bonds & Gershwin (September 2); and Marta Gardolińska will lead the orchestra with pianist Hélène Grimaud (September 9).


Following the health guidelines set forth by the County of Los Angeles, the LA Phil’s Hollywood Bowl 2021 season (July 3–September 28) will be a majority vaccinated venue, with two sections reserved for non-vaccinated audience members with proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to attendance. Mask wearing will be required for all attendees. The Hollywood Bowl will continue to receive public health guidelines from Los Angeles County and as policies evolve over the summer, more information can be found here.  

Subscribers can renew their seats online at or via phone at 323 850 2000 starting on May 11 (new subscriptions will not be available). “Create Your Own” 3-concert packages will be available on May 27. Tickets for July 3 & 4 will be available to purchase on May 18.  Individual concerts will go on sale to the general public on June 1. All tickets will be delivered digitally. Further ticketing information is available here.


Details for lease events at the Hollywood Bowl presented by Live Nation-Hewitt Silva: Hall and Oates (October 1), Alanis Morissette (October 5) and Andrea Bocelli (October 24) can be found here; and details for Mariachi USA can be found here.  


The Bowl Store located in the Box Office Plaza will open with normal business hours beginning July 3. 


The culinary program at the Hollywood Bowl is curated by the celebrated local chef and restaurateur team of Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. The James Beard award-winning duo, along with on-site Executive Chef Jeff Rodgers, will be providing food and wine for purchase from the on-site marketplaces, Street Food Stands (available in person and via mobile ordering), as well as pre-ordered picnic boxes and pre-ordered Supper in Your Seats for box seat holders. Ann’s Wine Bar (by A.O.C.) will also be available for in-person dining with an expanded outdoor dining area. Reservations for the wine bar are available through Open Table. 

All of the Bowl’s dining options have been updated to ensure the safety of all guests and staff. All team members are health screened before starting work and are outfitted with personal protective equipment. All sanitation measures have been amplified, and social distancing is required and enforced.  All entrances to indoor facilities such as the marketplaces will be monitored to allow for a safe experience. 


About the LA Phil 

Under the leadership 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. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.  

About the Hollywood Bowl

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2020, the Hollywood Bowl was awarded Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year at the 31st Annual Pollstar Awards, an honor bestowed 14 previous times. It was also awarded the Top Amphitheater prize at the 2017 and 2018 Billboard Touring Awards. For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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