YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


October 15, 2009

Re "Dudamel's great, but he's not the whole show," Opinion, Oct. 12

Thank you Gregory Rodriguez.

Before your article, I was a naive, middle-aged white guy who thought Gustavo Dudamel was hired because he is talented, energetic, charismatic and would be great for Los Angeles.

In other words, he was hired on his merits.

I thought that other cities were trying to hire him -- you know, like I saw on "60 Minutes" and several recent TV specials. Thank you for alerting me to the vast right-wing conspiracy that he is being used to appeal to the Latino community, even though his skin is light.

What's next? Why not call Yo-Yo Ma a "sell- out" because he plays music composed by old white men?

Or why not stop reading race into something as beautiful as classical music?

Try going to a concert some night and listening to a world-class orchestra in a world-class venue performing timeless music -- hence the name "classical."

Mark A. Overturf



In straining to find multiple cultural slights/insults by (in his words) "L.A.'s cultural elite" who are the "regulars at Disney Hall," Rodriguez only manages to reveal his own prejudices and grievances by parsing what is and who are Los Angeles Latinos and how they are best served.

His Op-Ed article comes off as churlish. To imply that there are subdivisions of Latinos more deserving than a mere Venezuelan says everything about his perceived personal injuries.

Cultural celebration and expression, besides requiring the time, talent and money of the so-called cultural elites, needs an audience willing to celebrate a diversity of participation.

I was embarrassed for Rodriguez's misplaced anger and scrutiny of what is a uniquely L.A. and uniquely splendid triumph.

Roger A. Hofstra

Cathedral City

Los Angeles Times Articles