Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Dude Abides (sorry, not that one)

(The concert that changed everything. Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra in August 2007 at the BBC Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall.)

What's being covered as the most important partnership in classical music began yesterday. 28 year old Gustavo Dudamel is now the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. And with it, we are asking him to take on the great musical challenge of our generation. Arturo Toscanini brought fidelity to the composer's intention to performances, Herbert von Karajan brought classical music back into the home with recordings; Simon Rattle is showing the world that new music is just as compelling as old, and the challange now falls to Gustavo Dudamel to bring classical music back to the masses. We can only hope that one day soon conductors can stop being the dominant voices in classical music life, but until then, the task will fall to Dudi. We don't yet know how he's gonna do it, but so far, decidedly not disappointing. John Adams is now the LAPhil composer in residence, and the season begins with the world premiere of Adams's new piece: City Noir. Music by him, Thomas Ades, Osvaldo Golijov and Dudamel's predecessor Esa Pekka Salonen, are on the schedule.

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