YOLA Center

Gehry to design new home for L.A. Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Frank Gehry will design a new permanent home for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles in South Los Angeles. (Courtesy Lando47/Wikimedia)

To celebrate the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s centennial, the organization has announced that Frank Gehry—famed architect and designer of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the philharmonic performs its winter time showcases—will design a new permanent home for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) in Inglewood, California.

For the project, Gehry will transform a 17,000-square-foot structure into a new community center and music academy. The facility, named in honor of donors Judith and Thomas L. Beckman, is expected to serve up to 500 aspiring music students from throughout the Los Angeles area, including the South L.A., Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East L.A. neighborhoods, according to a press release issued by the Philharmonic. The complex will contain rehearsal and educational spaces as well as a performance venue for the youth orchestra.

YOLA currently serves over 1,000 students across the region and is conducted in partnership with EXPO Center, Harmony Project, Heart of Los Angeles, and Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

Gustavo Dudamel, director of the L.A. Philharmonic, said in a statement, “The Beckmen Center will take [our] core beliefs … and turn them into something tangible for the children of L.A. and help ensure a brighter future for them and for all of us.” Dudamel added, “We commit ourselves as an organization to a better life for our inheritors—[this] amazing facility will ensure that.”

In the same statement, Gehry added, “The L.A. Philharmonic is the first orchestra anywhere to take such an enormous step for the future of its community. Thanks to the time I’ve spent with [Dudamel], I’ve seen the difference that YOLA makes in young people’s lives. I’m proud to play my part by making spaces where the kids can feel inspired, and YOLA can open up the whole world of music to them.”

Designs for the structure have not yet been released, but it is expected to open by 2022.

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