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A Conversation With Thomas Wilkins, Los Angeles Philharmonic Conductor

A Conversation With Thomas Wilkins, Los Angeles Philharmonic Conductor

Pacific Standard Time has a lot going on to get different artistic minds involved in the Southern California arts conversation. Music, an integral piece in the landscape, has born everything from crazy art-rock to classical music (that were maid for motion pictures). Working with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, tonight marks a really cool concert that celebrates the music of the movies: The Hollywood Sound. The show is conducted by Thomas Wilkins, Principal Guest Conductor at The Hollywood Bowl. In anticipation of the event, we spoke with Wilkins about music, Los Angeles, and art–and also got to hear what he’s excited to share at the LA Phil.

Being the Music Director of the Omaha Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, what do you find so exciting about coming to work in Los Angeles on occasion? Is it the weather? The people? The music? The art?

Well, the weather is a given, but aside from that, the orchestras. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra is so unbelievably versatile – I’m amazed by how quickly they can go from Mozart to rock. And now, working with the LA Phil, I’m reminded that this truly is one of the world’s great orchestras.

“The Hollywood Sound” will be spanning quite a lot of Hollywood music–from Korngold to Bernstein to Williams: is there any one composer whose work you are particularly excited to share? What makes you so excited to share it?

I’m particularly excited about Korngold. I’m one of the few who’s done his Symphony in F-sharp and I knew him as a classical composer before his film work. The Cello Concerto that we’re performing is poignant and beautiful and riveting all at the same time and it will be a treat to share it with audiences. Another is Bernstein’s Mockingbird Suite. It’s so simple and genuine and stunningly beautiful.

We’re sure you get this question all the time, in light of an event surrounding movie music, but what is your favorite movie, music aside? On the other end of the spectrum, is there a particular movie whose music is integral to the film/”makes” the movie for you?

The answer to both is The King’s Speech. It’s an amazing story and at the end when he begins his speech it’s accompanied by the 2nd movement to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which is so very fitting. It starts off rather negatively, but the melody gets brighter and becomes more hopeful as it continues.

For more on The Hollywood Sound at The LA Phil, check out Pacific Standard Time’s blog!

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