Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Caracas trip

Posted on: February 10, 2012

In Friday’s (2/10) Los Angeles Times, Reed Johnson writes, “When Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, talks about her orchestra’s 10-day concert tour to Venezuela that begins Friday, she uses two pointed descriptive terms. One is ‘critical mass.’ Another, delivered with a chuckle, is ‘insane.’ She also might have added potentially ‘transformative’ and, perhaps, ‘risky.’ Borda calls the tour, a multi-pronged endeavor built around the L.A. Phil’s performances of Gustav Mahler’s nine finished symphonies, ‘the biggest thing we’ve done since we opened Walt Disney Concert Hall’ in 2003. It’s also a further sign of the orchestra’s building investment in the artistic vision and celebrity status of its charismatic 31-year-old music director, Gustavo Dudamel, who will be returning to his native country along with 117 Phil musicians, nine soloists, 26 staff members and 31 deep-pocketed patrons and guests. … Among the challenges are Caracas’ well-known crime and formidable traffic, a grueling rehearsal and performance schedule, and the language gap between the primarily English-speaking L.A. musicians and their collaborators, the Spanish-speaking members of the Simon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. … But whatever the challenges, L.A. Phil administrators believe that the tour presents a unique opportunity for the organization to synthesize several of its biggest artistic, educational and community-outreach initiatives in one large-scale showcase. … Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive of the League of American Orchestras, called the convergence of Phil initiatives ‘brilliant.’ ”

Posted February 10, 2012