In Thursday’s (3/8) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed reports on an orchestral concert by young musicians conducted by Gustavo Dudamel during the Vienna Philharmonic’s stop in Mexico (Dudamel is leading the Vienna Philharmonic in a two-week Americas tour). “For the Encounters program Dudamel masterminded especially for the Mexico City tour stop and helped to fund through his Gustavo Dudamel Foundation … students [ages 9 to 21] were selected from education programs throughout the Americas.… This culminated in a Sunday morning concert … for the families and friends of the young players, plus dignitaries and press. [Mexican composer Arturo] Marquez conducted his own ‘Alas (a Malala),’ an electrifying Caribbean-style dance…. The orchestra musicians swayed in their seats, and a local youth chorus executed stirring hand movements while it sang. [In Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony] the Finale under Dudamel had a special emotional significance when played by an orchestra … composed of inexperienced players who had been together only a few days and who spoke different languages. So did an adagio for strings by John Williams, who adapted his score to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ as a present to Dudamel.… For these kids, Williams is their Mozart, and they brought to the music spiritual awe.”
Posted March 12, 2018
In photo: Gustavo Dudamel conducts an orchestra of 160 students from across the Americas at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Photo courtesy Gustavo Dudamel Foundation.