Friday, October 9, 2009

Los Angeles Glows at Dudamel’s Inaugural Concert

LOS ANGELES — That Gustavo Dudamel began his tenure as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with a free concert last Saturday night at the Hollywood Bowl, a multicultural community love fest, will always be a point of pride for citizens here.

Mr. Dudamel’s much-anticipated official inaugural came on Thursday night at Walt Disney Concert Hall, a formidable program with Mahler’s First Symphony and the premiere of a new work by John Adams. This was a black-tie gala, complete with a red- carpet procession of celebrities and patrons, and a South American-themed post-concert dinner in a makeshift tent set up outside the hall, smack in the middle of South Grand Avenue.

For all of Mr. Dudamel’s innate abilities to connect with audiences and inspire young people, he was hired to conduct a major American orchestra. The 10-minute ovation that erupted at the end of the Mahler made clear that supporters of the Los Angeles Philharmonic are thrilled with their new 28-year-old music director. But this was an exceptional and exciting concert by any standard.

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