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L.A. Phil whipping up excitement about Dudamel

January 21, 2009 |  4:03 pm

Gustavo DudamelSubscribers to the Los Angeles Philharmonic may have been surprised this month when they received a flier from the orchestra, emblazoned with a photo of new music director Gustavo Dudamel, informing them that they could renew their season tickets for 2009-10 online beginning this Thursday. To some, it seemed a bit early.  A hint of desperation in these economic times?

They may be happier, though, once they discover that details of the new season at Walt Disney Concert Hall are being announced Thursday   -- with Dudamel in attendance -- at an event the Phil plans to webcast live on its website at 1:30 p.m. It too is coming early. And the economy has nothing to do with it.

A Philharmonic representative explains that in recent years, the news conferences announcing new seasons have fallen between mid-January and late February, always contingent on the schedules of orchestra President Deborah Borda and music director Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2008, a leap year, the event occurred Feb. 28 -- the one day the orchestra says worked for Salonen -- and made the papers on the 29th. 

It seems that this year, Dudamel's schedule was equally crowded -- but Jan. 22 worked for him.

As for tickets to the Phil next season, current subscribers will be able to renew until March 13. New subscribers will be able to sign up beginning March 25. And single tickets will go on sale Aug. 23.

Watch Culture Monster on Thursday for Times critic Mark Swed's report on the new season.

-- Craig Fisher

Photo: Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in December. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times