The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles
, is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center
. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, and 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves (among other purposes) as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
Lillian Disney made an initial gift in 1987 to build a performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney's devotion to the arts and to the city. The Frank Gehry-designed building opened on October 24, 2003. Both the architecture by Frank Gehry and the acoustics of the concert hall (designed by Yasuhisa Toyota) were praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
The design of the hall included a large concert organ, completed in 2004, which was used in a special concert for the July 2004 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. The organ had its public debut in a non-subscription recital performed by Frederick Swann on September 30, 2004, and its first public performance with the Philharmonic two days later in a concert featuring Todd Wilson.
The organ's façade was designed by architect Frank Gehry in consultation with organ consultant and sound designer Manuel Rosales. Gehry wanted a distinctive, unique design for the organ. He would submit design concepts to Rosales, who would then provide feedback. Many of Gehry's early designs were fanciful, but impractical: Rosales said in an interview with Timothy Mangan of The Orange
County Register, "His [Gehry's] earliest input would have created very bizarre musical results in the organ. Just as a taste, some of them would have had the console at the top and pipes upside down.
There was another in which the pipes were in layers of arrays like fans. The pipes would have had to be made out of materials that wouldn't work for pipes. We had our moments where we realized we were not going anywhere. As the design became more practical for me, it also became more boring for him." Then, Gehry came up with the curved wooden pipe concept, "like a logjam kind of thing," says Rosales, "turned sideways." This design turned out to be musically viable.
The organ was built by the German organ builder Caspar Glatter-Götz under the tonal direction and voicing of Manuel Rosales. It has an attached console built into the base of the instrument from which the pipes of the Positive, Great, and Swell manuals are playable by direct mechanical, or "tracker" key action, with the rest playing by electric key action; this console somewhat resembles North-German Baroque organs, and has a closed-circuit television monitor set into the music desk.
It is also equipped with a detached, movable console, which can be moved about as easily as a grand piano, and plugged in at any of four positions on the stage, this console has terraced, curved "amphitheatre"-style stop-jambs resembling those of French Romantic organs, and is built with a low profile, with the music desk entirely above the top of the console, for the sake of clear sight lines to the conductor. From the detached console, all ranks play by electric key and stop action.
In all, there are 72 stops, 109 ranks, and 6,125 pipes; pipes range in size from a few centimeters/inches to the longest being 9.75m (32 feet) (which has a frequency of 16 hertz).The organ is a gift to the County of Los Angeles from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (the U.S. sales, marketing, service, and distribution arm of Toyota Motor Corporation).
The concert hall houses celebrity chef Joachim Splichal's landmark fine dining restaurant Patina designed by Belzberg Architects. Patina serves French and California cuisine.
- The Hall was spoofed in The Simpsons episode "The Seven-Beer Snitch"; Gehry voiced himself in the episode where the town of Springfield had him design a new Concert Hall for the town. The Concert Hall was then transformed into a jail by Mr. Burns. The character Snake eventually escapes from the prison while saying, "No Frank Gehry-designed prison can hold me!"
- The first ever movie premiere at the concert hall was in 2003, when The Matrix Revolutions held its World premiere.
- The Hall is featured in the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
- In the opening moments of "Day 6" of 24, a suicide bomber destroyed a bus in the vicinity of the Concert Hall.
- The Concert Hall held Ellen DeGeneres co-hosting for American Idol during the special week of Idol Gives Back. Rascal Flatts, Kelly Clarkson, and Il Divo performed here.
- This building was also used in the Iron Man (2008 release) movie briefly for a party for Stark Industries.
- The finale of the 2008 movie Get Smart was filmed at the Concert Hall.
- In the promotion picture for the television series Shark, the cast is standing in front of the Concert Hall.
- In the original pilot of the US TV remake of Life On Mars, the Hall features prominently in the sequence where Sam travels back to 1972. It is an emblem of the ultra-modern landscape that Sam is about to leave behind.
- On Everyday Italian, Giada De Laurentiis was preparing foods for her family and friends before she went there.
- "One Hour", a 3rd season episode of NUMB3RS, extensively features the concert hall. The action begins outside the hall, and after a long series of events around town, the FBI winds up going inside the hall in order to rescue a young boy from his captors.
- It is heavily used and an important building in the 2009 film, The Soloist.
- Filming was done on location at the Concert Hall for a fictional Boomkat music video in the CW's Melrose Place.
- The ABC show "Brothers and Sisters" often shows an exterior shot of Senator Robert McCallister's office that includes the concert hall. Also, Kitty proposed to Robert at a fund raiser held at the hall.
- It was featured in the 2007 film, Alvin and the Chipmunks.