In the late 80’s, Walt Disney’s widow, Lillian, made a philanthropic gift of $50MM for the people of Los Angeles to have a performance venue in honor of her late husband. When Frank Gehry was commissioned as the architect, the Walt Disney Concert Hall was built, becoming the permanent home of the LA Philharmonic. After a decade of modifications, a subterranean parking garage, revised plans, and new designs, the final project ended up costing $274MM.
“From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world. The hall is a new architectural landmark, generating as much excitement as Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which its design predates.”
The incredible acoustics allow the LA Phil to sound like they truly do for the entire audience and the concert organ is really one of the most beautiful features of all. Completed in 2004, the organ’s façade was also designed by Frank Gehry in consultation with organ consultant and sound designer Manuel Rosales. The organ was then built by the German organ builder Caspar Glatter-Götz under the tonal direction and voicing of Rosales. There are 72 stops, 109 ranks, and 6,125 pipes! The pipes range in size anywhere from just a few inches to the longest being 32 feet!
I always enjoy a show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It is one of my venues to attend in Los Angeles.