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Taking off

Fantasia in stainless steel

Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry and the new home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, opened in October. Set on Bunker Hill in downtown LA, and one part of The Music Center that includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, and Mark Taper Forum, it is all curves and angles. You don't just walk around the outside, you poke into spaces, climb stairs to unknown destinations, discover views. It takes time to absorb it all.

Inside, the orchestra is in the middle, surrounded by the audience. From the right seats, you can read the music on the musicians' stands. The hall is paneled in Douglas fir, the floors are oak. The 6,125-pipe organ rises sculpture-like above the chorus seats. The acoustics are indeed splendid. It cost $274 million and opened 16 years after the project was initiated. We had heard Beethoven's Ninth numerous times in other locations. We had never heard it like this.

Information, concert schedule, construction photographs, and more at www.musiccenter.org.

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