BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana favorite for more than a quarter-century, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will travel to New York City later this month to make its debut at famed Carnegie Hall, with a significant supporting role from Louisiana’s state economic development agency, LED. Formed in 1991, the LPO is the only full-time professional orchestra in the state. It’s also a participant in the Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit program offered by Louisiana Entertainment, an LED division.
Prior to the New York event, the orchestra will perform two concerts in New Orleans to preview its Carnegie Hall program, dubbed From the Big Easy to the Big Apple. Those performances will take place Feb. 22 and 24 at the Orpheum Theater across from the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
“From its home at the historic Orpheum Theater to public performance venues far and wide, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and its members have been excellent ambassadors for Louisiana’s artistic and creative culture,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “The orchestra has provided jobs for musicians and administrators and generated economic activity in the Southeast Region of our state for many years. Its upcoming performances in New Orleans and at Carnegie Hall in New York are a fitting tribute to the LPO’s role in our community.”
The LPO is one of only two orchestras to participate in Carnegie Hall’s Philip Glass residency for the 2017-18 performance season. Carnegie Hall is one of the world’s most prestigious performance venues for both classical and popular music. The Feb. 27 appearance by LPO will be in the 2,804-seat Isaac Stern Auditorium, the largest and most famous of Carnegie Hall’s three performance spaces. The orchestra’s permanent home is the Orpheum Theater, one of several New Orleans venues restored following Hurricane Katrina with help from a live performance infrastructure program offered by LED.
“Put simply, Louisiana’s Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit has been the catalyst for expanding the breadth and depth of LPO programming in the greater New Orleans community these past three seasons,” LPO Chief Executive Officer James William Boyd said. “From facilitating the orchestra's return to the Orpheum Theater in 2015, to providing production support for the Philip Glass program that will be performed in New Orleans, and then taken to New York for the orchestra's Carnegie Hall debut, the LED program has advanced the LPO's mission and impacted our community in ways we wouldn't have dreamed of four years ago.”
Glass, 80, Carnegie Hall’s featured composer for 2017-18, is regarded for influential compositions in opera, symphony and for his own ensemble, in addition to collaborations with artists ranging from choreographer Twyla Tharp and poet Allen Ginsberg to filmmaker Martin Scorsese and musician David Bowie. Orchestras from across the United States were invited to submit programs that place important works by Glass in illuminating contexts. The LPO and the Pacific Symphony of Orange County, California, were chosen, and both will be making their Carnegie Hall debuts.
The LPO’s program will feature music inspired by exotic locations, and an unconventional concerto. The program will begin with Silvestre Revueltas’ La Noche de los Mayas, inspired by Mayan culture and culminating in a flurry of pulsing rhythms and percussion, and the Glass composition, Days and Nights in Rocinha, an evocative tribute to the largest shantytown in Brazil. The concert concludes with another Glass work, Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, showcasing two soloists who play nine timpani between them.
This is the third year the LPO has participated in Louisiana Entertainment’s Live Performance program. Louisiana’s unique tax incentive for musical and theatrical productions provides tax credits ranging from 7 percent to 18 percent on certified in-state expenditures, plus an additional 7 percent tax credit for certified payroll expenditures for Louisiana residents. Projects are subject to an annual $1 million cap on tax credits.
For its 2015-16 season, the LPO had $2.1 million in qualifying in-state expenditures, including $1.1 million in Louisiana resident payroll covering 100 jobs. In 2016-17, it had $2.78 million in qualifying in-state expenditures, including $1.45 million in Louisiana resident payroll covering 100 jobs. For the current From the Big Easy to the Big Apple season project, the orchestra estimates Louisiana expenditures of $2.47 million, including estimated Louisiana resident payroll of $2.14 million covering 100 jobs. The 2017-2018 season project encompasses more than 80 performances across a multi-parish region.
About the LPO
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is dedicated to maintaining live orchestral music and a full-scale symphonic orchestra as an integral part of the cultural and educational life of the New Orleans area, the entire state of Louisiana and the Gulf South region. Formed in 1991, the LPO is the oldest full-time musician-governed and collaboratively operated orchestra in the United States. The LPO offers a full 36-week season with more than 120 performances, including classics, light classics, pops, education, family, park and community engagement concerts in New Orleans and across multiparish areas. In addition, the LPO collaborates with and provides orchestral support for other cultural and performing arts organizations. For more details, visit LPOmusic.com.
About Louisiana Entertainment
Louisiana is one of the top destinations in the world for motion picture production; digital interactive and software development projects; live performance; and sound recording. With state-of-the-art facilities, a wealth of talent, production-friendly communities and a competitive incentive program, Louisiana is the perfect location for the entertainment industries. For more information on Louisiana’s film, digital interactive, live performance and sound recording programs, visit Louisiana Entertainment, a division of Louisiana Economic Development, at LouisianaEntertainment.gov.