Dudamel on why he does not take sides in politics

Posted on: September 29, 2015

“My two musical families, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, will unite to play the complete symphonies of Beethoven starting Tuesday,” writes Gustavo Dudamel in Tuesday’s (9/29) Los Angeles Times. “This collaboration is thrilling for me on a personal level, and it will honor Latino pride, presence, history and power in my adopted home of Los Angeles.… I am not naive about the political stage these performances might create. It is possible that protesters will attempt to use the concerts to signal their support for or opposition to government policies in Venezuela.… Because I have been reluctant to speak out on events in my home country, I have been much criticized. Many have tried to define me and my political beliefs, or to tell me what I ought to believe. Now I wish to speak for myself. I am neither a politician nor an activist. Although I am aware that even something as benign as conducting an orchestra may have deep political ramifications, I will not publicly take a political position.… My music is my voice, and my orchestras play for all people of the world who seek a better future. I raise my baton for opportunity, unity and hope.”

Posted September 29, 2015