Renowned architect Frank Gehry designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the 1990s to be the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Its construction was initially funded by a $50 million gift from the late Lillian Disney, who wanted the people of Los Angeles to have a symbol of her husband Walt's devotion to the arts. The land and additional financing was provided by the County of Los Angeles.
When completed in 2003, the Walt Disney Concert Hall was acclaimed as "one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world.'' Its exterior is majestic, featuring huge curves of stainless steel. Its hardwood-paneled main auditorium, which makes use of natural lighting and was designed to resemble a ship's hull, can seat 2,265. Beneath the 3.6-acre complex is a six-level subterranean parking garage. In every way, the Concert Hall exudes the energy and creative spirit of Los Angeles and its orchestra.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic has been performing since 1919. It is rightly hailed as Southern California's top performing arts institution. Over a million people attend its concerts each year, including performances during the 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall and a 12-week summer festival at the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to classical music, a wide variety of programs are offered, including jazz, world music, organ recitals, Baroque concerts, holiday programs, and more.
Apart from the main auditorium, the Concert Hall features two outdoor arenas. One of these is the 300-seat William M. Keck Children's Amphitheatre. The other is a performing space for audiences of up to 200, which can be used for pre-concert events. Another section of the complex contains the 250-seat Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), and there is also a 3,000-square-foot art gallery that is operated by the California Institute of the Arts.
Dining at the Walt Disney Concert Hall is a function of the Patina Restaurant Group, which offers two options on site. The Michelin-starred Patina restaurant can accommodate up to 240 guests, serving French-influenced dishes that incorporate ingredients from local and regional farmers, ranchers and fishermen. From its cheese cart and award-winning wine list to its private Chef's Table and $55 prix-fixe menu, dinner at Patina is an elegant complement to any evening at the Concert Hall.
The other option for food and drink is the Concert Hall Cafy. Located off the lobby, with its open interior and sweeping cathedral ceiling, this 150-seat marketplace cafy offers gourmet specialty foods, sandwiches, salad, cheese and charcuterie plates, soups, and a menu of daily entrees. Open Monday through Sunday from 9:30am till the first intermission, it can be used as a venue for cocktail receptions and private dinners.
Prior to each performance and during intermissions, the Concert Hall's bars are open, too. Besides a standard menu of cocktails, beverages and snacks, all intermission bars have signature drinks available, such as the Pasiun cocktail, inspired by LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. It is made of POM juice, rum or vodka, a splash of club soda, and a twist of lime. Pre-ordering is encouraged to avoid long lines.
The LA Phil Store at Walt Disney Concert Hall on the corner of First and Grand offers Frank Gehry art and design items, jewelry, apparel, music, books, stationery, gift items, toys, and branded goods featuring not only the Concert Hall and the LA Phil, but also the Hollywood Bowl. Signings by famous performers and musicians are held frequently at the store, which is open daily from 10am to 5pm, as well as during and 30 minutes after evening concerts.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90012. It can be reached via the Grand Street Exit off the I-101 Freeway North or the Fourth Street Exit off the I-110 Freeway North. The nearest public transportation is the MTA Red Line Civic Center Metro stop at 101 South Hill Street. Regular parking costs $9 beginning at 4:30pm for evening concerts and is available directly beneath the Concert Hall. Enter on Second Street or Lower Grand Avenue.
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