The Hollywood Bowl launched its 95th season with a sold-out 2016 Opening Night Concert headlined by jazz-rock band Steely Dan on June 18.
Steely Dan shared the stage with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (HBO) led by Thomas Wilkins on the second part of the night. Their set, which marked their first ever collaboration, included arrangements by Vince Mendoza of some of the band’s most memorable hits, such as “Night by Night,” “The Caves of Altamira,” “Aja,” and “Deacon Blues.” A highlight of their show saw their performance of “Bodhisattva” accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display.
The first part of the night was dedicated to the kick-off of the 10th anniversary edition of LA Phil’s Composer Fellowship Program (CFP). HBO and Wilkins performed short pieces by two CFP alumni, Anderson Alden and Katya Richardson. They concluded this part of the night with a special performance that saw the HBO joined by the LA County High School for the Arts’ Vocal Ensemble for a version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods.
The Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl benefit concert raised a record-breaking $1.7 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s many education and community programs, which serve more than 150,000 youth, families and teachers every year. CFP is included in these initiatives along with Symphonies for Schools and Gustavo Dudamel’s signature program Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA).