If you’ve read this blog for awhile you know I love a good walking tour. I love to see locations up close and personal and to learn their ins and outs. Recently, I was lucky enough to join a group of my fellow bloggers in a Symphonian Tour of the Los Angeles Music Center.
I’ve long loved the Music Center and have been lucky enough to attend the opera, symphony, and theater there. But until the tour, I had never really taken the time to look at the actual buildings and grounds that make up its campus.
Our tour began in the Walt Disney Concert Hall and was led by the wonderful Robert.
Can you believe that this year marks the 10th Anniversary of the hall? It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating its grand opening. And did you know that when Frank Gehry received the commission for the hall he was an unknown architect? Just look at him now.
My favorite area turned out to be the exterior garden, a beautiful hidden gem nestled in the steel folds of the building.
As you can see from the sign above, it’s actually a state park. It was designed to be the living room of Los Angeles and all the plants came from private residences throughout the city. The piece de resistance of the garden is A Rose for Lilly. This fountain was designed specifically by Frank Gehry to honor Lillian Disney, the driving force behind the creation of the hall. It’s made entirely of Delft china, Mrs. Disney’s favorite.
After the Disney Hall we walked across the street to tour the original portion of the Music Center. First stop was the Mark Taper Forum, the only location I had never visited before.
This intimate theatre showcases groundbreaking works that often have serious subject matter and highlight the diversity of the city and nation. Multiple award winning plays have sprung from this very stage. An aesthetic highlight of the theatre is a wall made entirely of abalone shells which is quite breathtaking to behold.
After the Forum we headed to the Ahmanson Theatre which showcases Broadway plays. Having visited it multiple times, I can honestly say it’s a great place to catch a show.
After the Ahmanson, our finale stop was the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – the grande dame of the Music Center.
The Welton Becket designed concert hall appears as regal as it did the day it opened some 50 years ago. It truly is an elegant place to see a show and it’s lobby is filled with chandeliers and works of art that are quite exquisite. There’s even a hidden Founder’s Room that we were lucky enough to visit. It was site to see and the highlight of the tour but no photos were allowed. I guess you’ll just have to take the tour and see for yourself.
And that’s just what you can do because the Symphonian Tour of the Music Center is offered every Tuesday through Saturday and is completely free. It’s a fascinating glimpse into an iconic Los Angeles location and is a must see for tourist and native alike.