Welcoming Classical Music’s International Champion
By Anne Levin
In a YouTube video taped at a concert in Caracas, Venezuela, on New Year’s Eve 2007, the power of music is vividly on display. The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble — an unusually large group on one stage — are playing the “Mambo” from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, and the place is rocking.
Audience members of all ages are on their feet, dancing, cheering, clapping, and tossing confetti at the stage. The musicians, having a hard time staying in their seats, manage to shimmy and sway as they play. On the podium leading this exhilarating pandemonium is Gustavo Dudamel, the youthful, curly-haired conductor who is a legend in his home country and a superstar in the music world. more