Humor in Hollywood

I’m from LA, I’ve been in the Pomona College orchestra since freshman year, and playing the viola for far longer, but until Thursday I had never been to see the LA Philharmonic.  So, when my mom wound up with a voucher for two free tickets to any LA Phil Tuesday or Thursday night concert at the Hollywood Bowl (their summer home) I invited a friend to come with me the first week of classes (before orchestra starts up).  She’s the music major, not me, so I asked her which concert she wanted to go to and she picked Thursday, September 6.  So we got the tickets, got it all arranged and I figured I was going to just see some lovely classical music.  Luckily, I was wrong.

My friend, Audrey Dunne, and I at the Hollywood Bowl

Not until the night before the concert, however, did my friend mention that the concert we were going to was the “music and humor” concert—something I never thought I’d see the LA Phil associated with.  I suppose during the summer season they lighten up a bit (they even wear white instead of the usual concert black).  So first we got to see—er, hear—them play Strauss’ “Till Eulenspiegel”, before which the conductor explained the amusing story of Mr. Till Eulenspiegel, a true troublemaker. Next was Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals”, complete with two excellent piano soloists and a witty poem describing each animal.

The main event at the concert was a violin and piano duo: Igudesman & Joo.  Neither of us registered who they were, but during intermission I suddenly realized that I had actually heard of them—they’re famous (they’re even on Youtube!) musician comedians and they do stuff like this:  Mozart and James Bond

So, we got to see them mix classical and pop music, make the whole audience moo, mess around with the key of a very famous Mozart piece, and even dance a jig.  The whole crowd laughed along and had a fabulous time, and I realized that even “serious” classical musicians like the LA Phil can have a good time.  We sure came on the right night!