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Stars under the stars is what the Hollywood Bowl is all about. In the 2014 Bowl season announced Tuesday by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a number of them – namely, the cast of “Hair” -- will be briefly nude and spouting some salty language.
And Gustavo Dudamel, the star most fundamental to the Phil’s fortunes, will conduct a composition of his own for the first time in L.A.
The cluster of names assembled for the season also includes Esa-Pekka Salonen, making his first Bowl appearances since stepping down as the Phil’s music director and taking up his lifetime baton as its conductor laureate.
Frequent Bowl podium occupants Leonard Slatkin and Bramwell Tovey will be back, each conducting multiple programs.
Classical soloists include Yo-Yo Ma, Yuja Wang, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Hilary Hahn and Gil Shaham.
Among the pop and jazz luminaries will be Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Steve Martin, Gladys Knight, Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Trey Anastasio, Megan Hilty, Caetano Veloso, Elvis Costello and Chris Botti.
But an homage to the Beatles could be the biggest pop show of all, musically directed by former Eurythmics member Dave Stewart to mark the 50th anniversary of their 1964 Hollywood Bowl debut. Yet-to-be-named singers and instrumentalists hand-picked by Stewart and the Phil’s artistic staff will run through the exact set the Beatles played at the Bowl on Aug. 23, 1964, along with other Fab faves.
The promised “all-star cast” that will perform a fully staged production of “Hair” (Aug. 1-2) has yet to be named, but the Phil’s cautionary note that the show “contains mature subject matter and brief nudity” indicates that the tribal gathering of hippies in the altogether at the end of Act 1 and the sex-manual terminology from the song “Sodomy” will proceed unexpurgated.
One of Dudamel’s five late-July performances leading the Phil at the Bowl will find him conducting his own music: a suite from his film score for “Libertador: The Liberator,” a 2013 Venezuelan-Spanish biopic about Simon Bolivar that has yet to be screened in Los Angeles.
It will be part of a July 31 “Noche de Cine ("Night of Cinema") program focusing on film music from the Americas, also to include a suite from Acadamy Award-winning Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla’s score for “The Motorcycle Diaries.”
Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Triple Concerto (July 22 and 24), aided by a trio of French soloists – pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the sibling violin-cello combination of Renaud and Gautier Capucon.
With Dudamel and Grant Gershon conducting, the Phil will join forces with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus on July 27 for an operatic double bill of Mascagani’s “Cavalleria Rustica” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” with principal roles sung by Stuart Neill, Michelle de Young, Juliana Di Giacomo, Christopher Maltman, Tamara Mumford and Susan Bickley.
The program for Dudamel’s other concert, July 29, is yet to be announced but will focus on composers of the Americas and include dancing – part of an “America and Americans” festival that also includes the “Noche de Cine” program, a July 23 Latin jazz program with artists to be announced and Estefan’s July 24-25 concerts with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by Thomas Wilkins.
Salonen will conduct the first piano concertos of Prokofiev and Shastokovich, with Wang at the keyboard (July 17). He will be joined by Bronfman on a program that includes Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (July 15).
Tovey will lead the season’s first classical concert, joined by Bell on violin for a program that includes Ravel and Stravinksy (July 8); Tovey will be at the piano for the “Rhapsody in Blue” portion of an all-Gershwin program that will also feature Hilty, a Broadway star and erstwhile leading lady of the ill-fated TV series "Smash," in a selection of the master’s songs (July 10).
The Phil will accompany Botti’s trumpet and Chris Isaak’s crooning in an orchestral pops evening led by Tovey (July 11-12), and Tovey will sign off for the season Sept. 9, conducting a program that includes high-definition images from NASA as a backdrop for Holst’s “The Planets,” as well as the first U.S. performance of Mark-Anthony Turnages’ “Concerto for Drum Kit and Orchestra,” featuring drummer Peter Erskine – a piece commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.