New Encuentros ensemble, created by Dudamel Foundation, debuts at Hollywood Bowl

Posted on: August 4, 2022

“On Saturday morning, Gustavo Dudamel stood before a large orchestra of young musicians … ready to give the downbeat,” writes Mark Swed in Tuesday’s (8/2) Los Angeles Times. “ ‘Be careful of the level of volume you give me,’ he said with a sly smile…. The exuberant orchestra clearly knew he didn’t mean hold back, just make it glorious. [In] the rehearsal space in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center in Inglewood … Dudamel did not tamp it down…. The orchestra, created by the conductor and his wife, Spanish actress Maria Valverde, contains players ages 18 to 26 from 22 countries. It is called Encuentros. The jazzy new piece they were rehearsing, an L.A. Phil commission by Venezuelan composer Giancarlo Castro D’Addona, is titled ‘Encuentro Obertura Festiva.’ … Dudamel [created] his Dudamel Foundation a decade ago…. The modest operation, which he and Valverde co-chair, has the immodest goal of pursuing the dream of his mentor, Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of Venezuela’s El Sistema extensive music education program, which was the model for the L.A. Phil’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles).” Encuentros performed at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, and will take the same program to UC Berkeley tonight.