Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oil, Rhetoric and Dudamel

Oil, rhetoric and Gustavo Dudamel are arguably Venezuela's most important exports. Dudamel, a rock star amongst symphonic conductors, has been the resident music director of the Berliner and Gothenburg Symphonies and is soon to become music director of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra but his most important role is as director of the Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolívar. SJVSB is the pinnacle of more than 200 youth orchestras in Venezuela run by El Sistema. The remarkable story of SJVSB has been told in a BBC documentary, How an Orchestra Saved Venezuela's Children.

Today's video opens with an interview with Dudamel before the 2008 New Year's concert and then moves to a performance of La muerte del ángel by the percussion section of SJVSB, a group known as Ensamble Atalaya. Dudamel enters the stage at the end of the performance - watch the audience reaction.

If you want to see the whole SJVSB in action and understand the excitement around this group, I suggest you watch their performance of Mambos of Pérez Prado. Many more videos are available on the SJVSB Website.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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