Cite as 6 Litigation Commentary & Rev. 20 (March/April 2014)
Imagine a cool spring evening at one of the most beautiful and historic concert halls in Los Angeles. As the anticipation builds in the filled auditorium, the internationally renowned conductor enters the stage to enthusiastic applause and brings the 70 musicians to attention. The magic begins.
The West Los Angeles Symphony was formed in 1993 by a small group of civic-minded music lovers. Their mission continues to be the presentation of world-class conductors and soloists with an all-professional orchestra to the greater Los Angeles community in concerts that are free of charge.
Rarely in Los Angeles do you see such a diverse group of music lovers gathered in one place, from the most sophisticated opera and symphony season ticket holders, to those who have never had the means to attend a live professional symphony concert.
LCA Fellow, Gregory Bergman, of BDG Law Group, has been a stalwart supporter of this organization since its inception. His wife, Leah, a former deputy district attorney for 28 years, was one of the original founding members of the group. She is also a co-producer of the programs and a performing member in the orchestra. Believing in the power of music to change lives, their strong commitment to the cultural fabric of Los Angeles, has been an important part of their philosophy.
Over the years, the symphony has brought to the stage, world-famous conductors including: Sir Angel Romero, the legendary Spanish maestro of the classical guitar; Benjamin Wallfisch, celebrated for his classical conducting, as well as, for being a luminary in the Hollywood film industry for his award-winning scoring and conducting; and Lawrence Leighton Smith, who led virtually every major orchestra in the United States including the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Thrilling soloists have included, Jens Lindemann, acclaimed as one of the most celebrated trumpet soloists in his instrument’s history; mezzo-soprano, Milena Kitic, who sang the lead role of Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera; cellist, Ben Hong, whose playing is featured on the soundtrack of the 2009 DreamWorks film, “The Soloist”; and violinist, Nigel Armstrong, a 2011 prize-winner at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Russia.
The orchestra has also performed outreach specifically to disadvantaged youth, bringing them to the concert hall for these exciting performances. The orchestra believes that exposure to live classical music at a young age can inspire and change lives.
The orchestra has established a reputation for unique programming which features symphonic and operatic works that listeners can usually hear only by listening to recordings. Audience feedback has shown that the music selection, orchestra, and soloists, continue to achieve new heights of excitement each year.
Since 1999, the orchestra has made Royce Hall on the UCLA campus its home. Seating 1800 people and regarded as one of the nation’s finest concert halls, Royce Hall was the original building on the UCLA campus and completed in 1929. In its history, the hall was a venue for recording many outstanding artists during the vinyl album period because of its fine acoustics.
Over the past 21 years, this dynamic musical organization has beaten the odds against existence by excelling in the presentation of live symphonic music. With so many budget cuts for the arts, this organization is more important than ever. Gregory Bergman and the Law Offices of BDG Law Group continue to ensure this extraordinary gift to the community of Los Angeles continues to thrive!
If you would like to help with corporate support, underwriting, or grants, the orchestra would benefit greatly. Write to LCA Fellow, Gregory Bergman at [email protected].
Gregory M. Bergman is the managing shareholder of BDG Law Group, representing clients throughout California in the areas of employment, construction, complex litigation, class actions, insurance, real property, first amendment, business litigation, and environmental law, among other practice areas. Mr. Bergman has over 38 years of experience in litigation, including jury and bench trials, as well as successful appellate work. A recognized leader in the legal community, Greg regularly speaks to client, trade, and professional associations on trial preparation, complex matters, contract litigation, use of experts, cutting-edge employment issues including contingent workers, CEQA, and construction litigation. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a charter Fellow of the Litigation Council of America, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and multiple other prestigious legal organizations. He is currently co-chair of the Environmental Committee of the U.S. – Mexico Bar Association. Mr. Bergman has been named a California Super Lawyer for the past ten years in a row. Greg is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California, the United States Supreme Court and the Court of Claims.