March 7, 2014 |
John Corigliano wrote his Symphony No. 1 in 1988 on a grand scale for an extravagant-sized orchestra. It is a multi-colored score containing a patchwork quilt of immense emotions. The composer didn't call it a war symphony, but that is what it is, an epic orchestral score for an epic tragedy, the AIDS epidemic. Audiences and orchestras, devastated by what the disease had wrought, understood. The symphony was needed, appreciated and widely played. The urgency of those times is receding into memory, and Corigliano's score is not so much heard any longer.
February 25, 2014 |
The civil unrest that has gripped Venezuela this month has swept up one of the country's key cultural figures -- Gustavo Dudamel, the renowned conductor and music director of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. There have been calls in recent days for Dudamel to speak out against Venezuela's hard-line President Nicolas Maduro for cracking down on political dissenters who have taken to the streets in protest of the country's worsening economic and social conditions.
February 24, 2014 |
The Los Angeles Philharmonic's multifaceted TchaikovskyFest has thus far weathered political incident. That is to say, nothing happened Friday night at Walt Disney Concert Hall to land performances of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Second Symphony on the front page or in the international spotlight. The concert, performed by the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (sharing the festival with the L.A. Phil) and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, did draw an assembly of demonstrators in front of Disney.
February 19, 2014 |
Wherever he goes, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel is hailed as a symbol of El Sistema, Venezuela's model music education program. But Tuesday Dudamel arrived in L.A. as the subject of criticism for not speaking out against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's policies. Just off the plane from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, and sitting in his office at Walt Disney Concert Hall with an espresso and poring over a Wagner opera score, Dudamel gave his first interview about his situation at home.
February 17, 2014 |
CARACAS, Venezuela - An opposition leader being hunted by authorities on homicide charges announced plans to lead a protest march Tuesday and then turn himself in to police. Leopoldo Lopez, a former Caracas borough mayor, denies the criminal accusation made by President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing increasing criticism over his handling of the economy. The government is blaming Lopez and other opposition leaders for inciting violence among antigovernment marchers that left three dead and scores injured last week.
February 14, 2014 |
Gustavo Dudamel has found himself in the midst of a political debate in his native Venezuela over a recent concert he conducted that was attended by the country's controversial leader, President Nicolas Maduro. The Times' World Now blog reported Friday that Dudamel led a performance of the Youth Orchestra of Lara in the city of Maracay on Wednesday. Maduro, who was in the audience, is facing a national crisis following eruptions of violence in a number of cities, leaving three dead and many more injured.