STORY AND LINK: Will Dudamel interview himself Sunday?

By Robert D. Thomas

Music Critic

Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily
News

 

In what may either turn out as one of dumbest moves in
recent memory, a stroke of genius or (most likely) somewhere in between, the
Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced that Gustavo Dudamel will both conduct
and host the first “LA Phil Live” telecast from Walt Disney Concert Hall to
400+ movies theaters across the U.S. and Canada on Sunday at 2 p.m. (PDT).

 

Each of last year’s three telecasts had a celebrity host,
who ranged in quality from so-so to competent. Apparently LAPO management
decided (either for financial reasons or because they think Gustavo can do a
better job himself) that it could do away with the outsider. It will be
interesting to see what changes will occur with the Venezuelan maestro having
to come off stage and then serve as host. Will he speak in both Spanish and
English? What will he use to replace someone interviewing him between pieces?

 

There is precedent of a sort, of course. A half century ago,
Leonard Bernstein both hosted and conducted his now-legendary “Young People’s
Concerts,” quite effectively, I might add.
Perhaps history will repeat itself. Nonetheless, while acknowledging that
hosting this sort of event isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, you’d
think that in the heart of the entertainment industry the Phil could have found
someone exemplary to handle these duties.

 

The program remains the same: all Mendelssohn — (Hebrides Overture, Symphony No. 3 (Scottish) and the Violin Concerto, with
Janine Jansen as soloist. Information:
www.laphil.com

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(c) Copyright 2011, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved.
Portions may be quoted with attribution.

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