September 26, 2009 |
At any given moment, Gustavo Dudamel might be catching a red-eye flight to Sweden, rehearsing young musicians in Venezuela, blazing a path through Mahler's First in Los Angeles or brainstorming with the head of his record label in Germany.Then there are the endless hours spent memorizing brain-racking orchestral scores. And the countless weeks devoted to the type of social and educational programs that once helped catapult Dudamel from a working-class provincial Venezuelan boyhood to the top of the world's classical conducting ranks.
June 2, 2009 |
On Thursday night, for the first time in his career, Gustavo Dudamel conducted Verdi's grandly operatic 90-minute Requiem here with the Gothenburg Symphony. Afterward I visited the 28-year-old conductor in his modest dressing room in the Concert Hall, a Swedish functionalist auditorium that was built in 1935 and stands proudly as part of a sternly imposing arts complex at the end of the city's main avenue. He greeted me with a sheepish smile and blurted out, "Sorry." There had been unmistakable thrills and the occasional moment of sudden, stunning beauty, but Dudamel was thinking about the many mistakes.
November 27, 2008 |
Lucky enough to be going to Disney Hall the next couple of weeks to see wunderkind conductor Gustavo Dudamel back on the podium? If so, keep an eye on the young conductor's left hand. No, this isn't some weird fetish thing. It's a chance to focus on a key element of his technique, which is what makes him the real deal. A quick tutorial: At the most rudimentary level, conductors use their hands to accomplish specific tasks.
November 18, 2008 |
The next time an Academy Award winner's acceptance speech runs long, a new conductor will strike up the band to play them off. Michael Giacchino, whose credits include "Ratatouille" and "Lost," has been tapped as music director for the upcoming Oscar ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday. Giacchino, who's never conducted a live telecast before, said he's hoping to inject some Hollywood nostalgia into the ceremony when he leads the orchestra pit for the Feb. 22 ceremony at the Kodak Theatre.
August 26, 2008 |
South Korean conductor Shi-Yeon Sung will replace Edo de Waart tonight at the Hollywood Bowl leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an all-German program of Schumann, Wagner and Brahms. De Waart canceled because of an undisclosed illness. The Dutch conductor was also slated to lead Thursday night's Bowl program, titled "The Russian Soul." Miguel Harth-Bedoya, a former Philharmonic associate conductor, will step in, while violinist Augustin Hadelich replaces the ailing Julian Rachlin.
May 15, 2008 |
The lights dimmed, the sold-out hall grew hushed and out walked the conductor -- shiny, white and 4 feet, 3 inches tall. ASIMO, a robot designed by Honda Motor Co., met its latest challenge Tuesday evening: Conducting the Detroit Symphony in a performance of "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha." "Hello, everyone," ASIMO said to the audience in a childlike voice, then waved to the orchestra. As it conducted, the robot perfectly mimicked the actions of a conductor, nodding its head at various sections and gesturing with one or both hands.