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Mahler Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand”

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Mahler Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand”
Saturday, February 4, 2012 web-editor
photo of Gustavo Dudamel conducting Mahler Symphony No. 8Gustavo Dudamel conducts Mahler Symphony No. 8

No exaggeration. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The LA Philharmonic had scheduled all of the Mahler Symphonies to be performed during the 2011-2012 season. Symphony No. 8 requires a chorus of 800 and an orchestra of 200. It was the job of LA Master Chorale Director Grant Gershon to assemble and prepare those 800 singers.

All Saints Church was asked to provide 60 of those singers, the only-church based choir invited to participate. It is a huge understatement for me to say that this makes me very proud.

It was a ton of work, beginning in the fall of 2011, as we chipped away at this mammoth work every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Those Canterbury and Coventry members who were not participating went home early, as the rest of us knocked it out, page by page. Yikes!

In January 2012 there was a rigorous rehearsal schedule at the Music Center — rehearsals with Gershon and then Dudamel at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Disney Hall. Then, we all converged at the Shrine Auditorium for several rehearsals with 1000 on the stage.

It was a sonic thrill and a wonderful musical stretch. I couldn't have beamed any brighter as the 15 conductors of the participating choruses were called up to the stage at the end of the performance.

Date & Time Saturday, February 04, 2012
at 8:00 PM
Location Shrine Auditorium
665 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90007
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Simón Boli­var Sym­phony Orches­tra of Venezuela
  • Gus­tavo Dudamel, con­duc­tor
  • Los Ange­les Master Chorale Grant Ger­shon, music direc­tor
  • Los Ange­les Children’s Chorus Anne Tom­lin­son, artis­tic direc­tor
  • Pacific Chorale John Alexan­der, artis­tic direc­tor
  • Angel City Chorale Sue Fink, artis­tic direc­tor
  • Ange­les Chorale John Sutton, artis­tic direc­tor and con­duc­tor
  • Canterbury Choir and Coventry Choir of All Saints Church, Pasadena James Walker, direc­tor of music
  • Chorus of the Inner City Youth Orches­tra of Los Ange­les Charles Dick­er­son, music direc­tor and con­duc­tor
  • Gay Men’s Chorus 
  • Los Ange­les Cham­ber Choir Chung Uk Lee, music direc­tor
  • Los Robles Master Chorale Lesley Leighton, artis­tic direc­tor
  • Pasadena Pro Musica Stephen Grimm, direc­tor
  • Pasadena Master Chorale Jef­frey Bern­stein, artis­tic direc­tor
  • Philip­pine Cham­ber Singers, Los Ange­les Anthony Angelo Fran­cisco, artis­tic direc­tor and con­duc­tor
  • Vox Femina Los Ange­les Iris S. Levine, artis­tic direc­tor
  • National Children’s Chorus Luke McEn­dar­fer, artis­tic director
  • Gustav MahlerSymphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand”

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