Symphony: Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall

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9780979472749: Symphony: Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall
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From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to its hardwood-paneled main auditorium, Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most sophisticated concert halls in the world. Produced with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles office of Gehry Partners, Symphony: Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall chronicles the extraordinary history of this icon of world architecture, from its conception in the late 1980s to its completion in 2004. This will be the first trade softcover edition of the book.

Frank Gehry’s renowned works include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and Dancing House in Prague. Gehry received architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 1989.

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Review:

Frank Gehry has called Walt Disney Concert Hall a "living room" for the city of Los Angeles. Opened in Fall 2003 to rapturous praise, the hall beckons all comers with a billowing steel facade gleaming in the sunlight. Nearly 100 stunning color photographs and four concise, engaging essays by notable, mostly L.A.-based contributors make Symphony: Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall the ideal overview of this major civic and cultural landmark. Significant architectural, acoustical, urban design and civic leadership angles are all covered, including the checkered history of the project, stalled for years due to a ballooning budget, a complex decision-making process and a misguided attempt to relegate Gehry to a consulting role. In the end, as Michael Webb points out, the lag time proved valuable to Gehry, coinciding with his mastery of a new architectural language that he first explored in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The book is full of intriguing details. For example, the acoustical scheme developed by Dr. Minoru Nagata relies in part on a surprising discovery he made—-that the quality of sound in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, long attributed to the resonant wood walls, was really due to the four inches of plaster underneath. The most ambitious chapter is Carol McMichael Reese's discussion of the hall's role in the long-term rehabilitation of downtown Los Angeles. For all its scrupulous detail and balanced assessments, however, she fails to give an eye-level view of the gritty texture of downtown Los Angeles and how alien it still is to the average symphony patron. The book concludes with an essay by Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, who notes the appropriateness of visionary design to the modern symphonic repertoire he champions. —Cathy Curtis

About the Author:

Garrett White, founder of Five Ties Publishing, is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. His translations include An Uspeakable Betrayal: Selected Writings of Luis Bu˝uel, and Hollywood: Meccas of the Movies, by Blaise Cendrars.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780810949812: Symphony: Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0810949814 ISBN 13:  9780810949812
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, 2003
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9780810991224: Symphony: Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall

HARRY ..., 2003
Softcover

9780981969039: Symphony: Frank Gehrys Walt Disney Concert Hall

Abrams, 2003
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