Dear Gustavo, Welcome Home, Love Fine Arts LA

We’re sure that there are other men named Gustavo in the world, but right now there’s one in particular that Fine Arts LA welcomes to our fair city with open arms and baited breath.  Mr. Gustavo Dudamel officially (finally) began his post this week as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Music Director.  That he started his tenure with a free concert for 18,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl says volumes about the kind of attitude he has toward classical music, the people who love it, and the people who almost love it.

At 28 years old, he’s wise beyond his years, but not so much so that he can’t understand the challenges that face him in his mission to reconnect with people his own age via classical music. A primary reason that younger generations are less and less interested in classical music is because of the misconception that it’s your grandparents’ music or that it’s only for rich people.  Gustavo has arrived to prove his adage that “classical music is cool” and who better to send the message than a young man who came up in Venezuela, learning music in El Sistema.  He believes, like we do, in the importance of the social parts of the arts and culture.

He’s also been welcomed with open arms because he stands as a significant Latin American figure in classical music, an industry largely consisting of hefty Italians and blonde divas.  His curly hair a departure from Esa Pekka Salonen’s cool coif, Gustavo has come to break away from any kind of elitist view of classical music in this city.  He thinks of himself as less a genius and more a man who’s mastered the art of studying and research.  Without studying, he’s said, he wouldn’t be anywhere near where he is today, which is to say that he’s pretty much role model material.

At a recent press conference, he easily waved off the question of whether or not he thinks he’s too young to tackle any composers or complex works.  Apparent in the unconventional season he’s planned for 2009/2010 at Disney Hall, his confidence will be instrumental in accomplishing his goals with the LA Phil.  With a Fellowship Program recognizing talented, young individuals in music from around the world alongside his Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, he’s already gotten serious about not only including the children, but socializing and honoring their achievements in music.

Another part of our future with Gustavo will include many technological advances.  His free Bienvenido Gustavo concert was streamed live on the internet yesterday and can still be found online (until tomorrow morning).  Also on the LA Phil’s website, you’ll find an interactive (and genuinely addictive) game called Bravo Gustavo.   Deborah Borda and her team at the LA Phil have imported an intelligent, vivacious guy who’s here to tell us what he knows – and it’s the kind of stuff that we want to know, too.   Los Angeles and its classical music scene will never be the same.  We welcome him, his adorable dimples, and the changes he brings!

Click here to take a listen to the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Gustavo Dudamel & Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela

Comments are closed Trackback

Comments are closed.