A real role model at last, sorely needed, as we all know. PLUS a new dish named after him, the Dudamel Dog, a computer game, an app, three "60 Minutes" segments, and much more.. . .
A boy from the Systema has risen to be part of the system, in the best sense. And I watched him with my own eyes at Carnegie Hall several years ago. He was conducting a symphony orchestra of young musicians culled from the hundreds of thousands of poor children who are given a rare gift, music lessons, to enrich their lives and their souls. Those kids danced on stage with their instruments, twirled their bass fiddles, and oozed love of the venerable art of music.
Gustavo Dudamel is a product of the El Sistema program in Venezuela which should be replicated in every city and town in America. Those among us who call others 'backwards' should take note, literally! Are we offering music education to our children? Do we have HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS playing together, peacefully, in orchestras in our great country? Why not? If the good ol' American spirit of competitiveness is operative, we should jump into the fray immediately, if not sooner.
At a free concert for 18,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl, the "Dude" conducted gospel, jazz, pop, and blues, with the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony titled in Spanish. Talk about reaching out to audiences!!
For those who moan and groan that classical music is dying, rather than sighing and crying, please study from whence he cometh and where he is going!
I laud Deborah Borda and the L.A.Philharmonic for their imaginative and fabulous approach to music-making. I can't wait to get my teeth into the Dudamel Dog that Pink's hot dog stand created to celebrate him: guacamole, cheese, fajita mix, jalapeno pepers, and tortilla chips.
As Americans, the subject of music education is something to chew on. Isn't it about time we get our teeth into music?
Please let me know your opinion. You can write to me at GUSTAVWIND@LYRICNY.ORG. I love getting attention! Please remember to use only the loftiest terms and the most elevated thoughts. Lyric's website and a person of my stature cannot and will not respond to inappropriate language which is so disgustingly prevalent in our society at this time.
Looking forward to hearing from you (and to seeing you, if you can find me. I am known for my varied disguises, and no one has recognized me yet, in my many venerable years of concert-going and reviewing. As a result, some are naturally curious about my identity, and others have gone so far as to speculate that I am not a man at all but might be a female. What a ridiculous notion! What parent would name a daughter Gustav? Catch me, if you can….)
Gustav Wind, E.C. (Eminent Critic), R.C. (Revered Critic) and
E.G. (Eminence Grise)
Copyright Gustav Wind 2009. This copyrighted work is the property of the author and may not be reproduced or used without permission of the author.