Monday, April 6, 2009

Bravo Gustavo!

I just got back from the Kennedy Center where
Gustavo Dudamel led The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuala
in a very, very good & lively concert.

The Program:

Ravel - Daphnis et Chloe
Castellanos - Santa Cruz de Pacairigua
Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring

The playing by these very professional youngsters was very articulate, vibrant and exciting. Gustavo's conducting athletic and animated.

There was impressionism in Daphnis.
Spice in Castellanos.
Muscle, power and delicacy in The Rite .

After the first encore, the lights went out.
When they came back on, the orchestra had thrown on red, blue and yellow baseball jackets with Venezuala emblazzened on them.

Then the orchestra launched into another couple of fun encores, dancing around, tossing their instruments in the air, playing with spirit.

What fun!

I can't recall seeing anything quite like this in The Kennedy Center.

While I listened to this energetic concert,
I wondered about young athletic, dexterous musicians
older more seasoned musicians with more experience.
Should orchestras be made up of one or the other, or both ?

At times I wondered if the music had been dissected so much, that when it was reassembled for performance it sounded telegraphed.
Perhaps a bit too clearly emphasized, if possible.
Was this a result of these youngsters relative inexperience?

All in all I found it to be a wonderful, heart warming concert.
To see these 180 talented young musicians and Gustavo playing so beautifully was a real treat.

I wish The Obama's could have been there to experience it.
I would love to see our country adopt a program similar to El Sistema so that we could bring more talented, young musicians into the world.

(Thanks to Wikipedia, and the Gustavo Dudamel and Deutsche Grammophon websites for photos)


  1. It's always a thrill to see young energic and talented musicians perform. Are you familiar with Interlochen? My daughter, who is now an opera singer, got her start there. It's a wonderful organization.

  2. Hello Willow,

    How nice to see you. How lucky you are to have a daughter who has been to Interlochen. I love Opera. One of my dear friends son was at Interlochen this past summer. I am so thrilled for him. He's been playing the cello and seems like he has a very healthy passion for music. I send him music and chat with him often. What a blessing.