Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where music is life

Dudamel era may be simpler than hype suggests

Yesterday's piece in the Wall Street Journal by LA Opus writer Donna Perlmutter discusses the Dudamel phenomenon.
The L.A. media is over the moon. One paper's headline tasks "The Dude" to "save classical music" (not that everyone agrees it needs saving). Several others make feverish references to the "Dudamania" or "Dudamelmania" that's been sparked.

But the man himself appears to hew to simpler values. He comes from an developing country which boasts a music education program called El Sistema, which annually provides a quarter of a million children with free musical instruments and instruction. The system, along with his middle-class musician-parents, nurtured the child prodigy, who began conducting at age 11 and has said: "I come from a place where music is life, where classical music has many faces, where young people know it's not just for sleeping or for grandfathers."
The gala, featuring Dudamel conducting Mahler's First and a new John Adams piece, is tonight.

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