Gustavo Dudamel on what changed during the pandemic

Posted on: October 28, 2021

Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Photo: Danny Clinch

“All summer at the Hollywood Bowl, Gustavo Dudamel showed signs of a new gravitas,” writes Mark Swed in Monday’s (10/25) Los Angeles Times. “The full realization that something is up had to wait until the [Los Angeles Philharmonic’s] season-opening gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where … the startling sound of the orchestra turned nuclear.… I asked him what was going on…. ‘There is no question that, for all of us, whether or not you lost family or friends [to COVID-19], this was a trauma.’ … He lost … some of his closest family in Venezuela, including his grandmother.” During pandemic shutdowns, “He hosted a TV series for PBS from the Hollywood Bowl… ‘I am not the Gustavo of 2010, 2011, 2012, when I was guest conducting everywhere,’ he said…. He said he feels as though something in the atmosphere is bringing him and the orchestra together in a new way. [At] Dudamel’s opening-night subscription concert [in Strauss’s Four Last Songs], a couple walk into mystery, trying not to lose their way in solitude…. ‘Is this death?’ they ask. Dudamel let it mysteriously fade, with no hint of an answer, simply the arrival of peace.”