The Bowl’s “Tchaikovsky with Fireworks” is Always… a Blast!

Kevin Taft recounts the Tchaikovsky Spectacular (with fireworks), a Hollywood Bowl summer event that always delivers for music lovers.

The Hollywood Bowl continued its annual tradition of dedicating two weekend nights to the popular composer Tchaikovsky – complete with a finale fireworks spectacle!

As always, attendees, young and old, come for a night of familiar classical music and a bombastic ending to the always recognizable 1812 Overture– for anyone not immersed in the oeuvre of Pyotr’s work.

Conducted by the affable Daniel Bartholomew-Pyser, the evening consisted of four of the composer’s most popular works. Waltz from Swan Lake, op. 20 No. 2, Piano Concerto No. 1, Romeo and Juliet Fantasy – Overture, and of course, the 1812 Overture in full.

Joining the LA Philharmonic was Bruce Liu on piano, who recently graced the Bowl stage as a replacement during the Elgar & Beethoven evening. Hailing from Canada, the twenty-six-year-old prodigy began to play the piano at age eight and was performing by age eleven. He is an exquisite pianist, and watching his dexterity as he played the concerto by memory was jaw-dropping.

See Also: Concert Review: Dudamel Conducts Verdi’s Powerfully Maudlin Requiem

Bartholomew-Poyser is not only a talented conductor but a heck of a host. Charming and funny, he often climbed down from his podium to address the audience to give them a little background on Tchaikovsky through the composer’s words or by comparing the icon’s love letters to his dating texts. It was a terrific way to engage the audience and make the composer more relevant to an audience who were probably not all classical music aficionados. I can’t wait to see more of him!

As always, the fireworks dazzled as the USC Trojan Marching Band joined the Philharmonic onstage to assist with the 1812.

If you missed the Bowl’s latest night of classical music, fear not; plenty more amazing nights are coming up.

    • August 29th is a full night of Beethoven at the Bowl
    • August 31st sees an evening of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons conducted by Gemma New
    • September 5th is all about Mozart Under the Stars
    • Sept 7th beings us Bach and Mendelssohn
    • And a personal favorite, on Tuesday, September 12th, Holst’s The Planets will be performed along with a world premiere piece by Adam Schoenberg called “Cool Cat,” as well as a Violin Concerto No. 1 by composer Philip Glass.

For more information about these and other events at the Hollywood Bowl, visit


Written by
Kevin is a long-time movie buff with a wide variety of tastes and fixations in the film world. He cried the moment Benji appeared onscreen in “Benji,” and it took him about four times to finally watch “The Exorcist” (at age 24) without passing out. “Star Wars: A New Hope” was the movie that changed everything and when his obsession with films and filmmaking began. A screenwriter himself (one long-ago horror script sale to New Line remains on a shelf), his first film "Two Tickets to Paradise" that he co-wrote premiered in June 2022 on Hallmark. He is currently working on another for the iconic brand.

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