Dudamel detained by Israeli airport authorities

Posted on: February 19, 2013

Monday (2/18) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, David Ng writes, “Classical conductors spend a lot of time on airplanes flying from one job to the next and are thus used to the frustrations that come with modern-day air travel. But for Gustavo Dudamel, a recent episode during a trip to Israel seems to have gone beyond the usual airport aggravations. Dudamel was recently in the Middle East for a guest conducting stint with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. According to Israel newspaper reports, the conductor was subjected to extended questioning at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport upon his arrival and at the time of his departure from Israel, separating from his Israeli Philharmonic escort. It appears that Dudamel, 32, is considering not returning to Israel based on the unpleasant experiences. The conductor was reportedly not carrying the orchestra’s letter of invitation and this was what led to the interrogations. … At least one blog is speculating that the questioning might have been politically motivated. Hugo Chavez, the president of Dudamel’s homeland of Venezuela, has been an ally of Iran, which is hostile to Israel. Dudamel is regarded as an important cultural figure in his native country.”

Posted February 19, 2013