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Great Performances: LA Phil 100 premieres Friday, May 8 at 9:30 p.m. on PBS

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert & Gala (Photos: Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging)

THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Presents a Centennial Celebration with LA Phil 100, Premiering Friday, May 8 on PBS

Current Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel conducts with former Music Directors Zubin Mehta and Esa-Pekka Salonen


Recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 24, 2019, the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s first performance, this Great Performances birthday celebration spotlights the lasting legacies of three music directors for the renowned orchestra. Conductor Emeritus Zubin Mehta (1962-1978) leads Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” overture and Ravel’s “La Valse,” Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen (1992-2009) leads Polish composer Witold Lutosławski’s Symphony No. 4, and Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel (2009-present) conducts a suite from Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”

Gustavo Dudamel Conducts Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert & Gala (Photos: Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging)

All three conductors join forces for the finale, the world premiere of “From Space I Saw Earth” by Daníel Bjarnason. A “sensational” concert led by conductors who made LA Phil “the epitome of the modern orchestra” according to Los Angeles Times, Great Performances: LA Phil 100 premieres nationwide Friday, May 8 at 9:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app.

Also premiering this month, Great Performances presents Leonard Bernstein Mass on Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app. Great Performances at the Met: Wozzeck also premieres Sunday, May 3 at 12 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Additional classical music programming is available to stream on demand now at and the PBS Video app.

Notable Talent

  • Gustavo Dudamel, conductor, Music and Artistic Director of LA Phil, 2009-present
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor Laureate of LA Phil and its music director, 1992-2009; San Francisco Symphony music director designate
  • Zubin Mehta, Conductor Emeritus of LA Phil and its music director, 1962-1978; New York Philharmonic Orchestra music director, 1978-1991
  • Daníel Bjarnason, composer, artist in residence with Iceland Symphony Orchestra and co-curator of LA Phil’s Reykjavik Festival
  • David Horn, executive producer, Great Performances


  • “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” Overture – Richard Wagner (Conducted by Mehta)
  • “La Valse” – Maurice Ravel (Conducted by Mehta)
  • “Symphony #4” – Witold Lutoslawksi (Conducted by Salonen)
  • “The Firebird 1919” – Igor Stravinsky (Conducted by Dudamel)
  • “From Space I Saw Earth” – Daníel Bjarnason (Strings and percussion conducted by Dudamel and brass, winds and additional percussion conducted by Mehta and Salonen)
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert & Gala (Photos: Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging)

Noteworthy Facts

  • Dudamel recently completed his 10th season as the orchestra’s musical and artistic director, coinciding with the orchestra’s centennial celebration.
  • The symphony Salonen conducts was originally commissioned by LA Phil and premiered as part of the conductor’s first season with the orchestra.
  • Mehta is the only conductor to have conducted the LA Phil at the Philharmonic Hall, which the orchestra moved to in 1920; the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which he opened in 1964; and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
  • This is LA Phil’s sixth appearance on Great Performances, having played in Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert (2009), Celebración! Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil with Juan Diego Flórez (2010), Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin (2012), Dudamel Conducts the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic (2014), Dudamel Conducts a John Williams Celebration with the LA Phil (2015) and Dudamel Conducts Tangos Under the Stars (2017)

Series Overview
Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). The series is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert & Gala (Photos: Craig T. Mathew and Greg Grudt/Mathew Imaging)

Production Credits
Directed for television by Michael Beyer and produced by Bernhard Fleischer, Great Performances: LA Phil 100 is a production of Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, in association with WDR/ ARTE and C Major Entertainment  in collaboration with Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.  For Great Performances, Richard R. Schilling and John Walker are producers, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer and David Horn is Executive Producer.

About LA Phil
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of live performances – orchestral, pop, rock, country, jazz, blues, Latin, world music, opera, chamber, Baroque, organ and celebrity recitals, theatrical performances, explorations of film music, dance, comedy, groundbreaking multimedia productions, and an unmatched commitment to commissioning and performing music from the composers of today – at three of L.A.’s iconic venues: Walt Disney Concert Hall (, the Hollywood Bowl ( and The Ford. The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September to June, and at the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford throughout the summer. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music with a robust mix of artistic, learning, and community programs.


About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including NatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersPBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.