Dudamel Magic in America
The Philharmonic is back from a really fantastic 12 day, coast to coast tour of the United States with its young friend Gustavo Dudamel conducting.
You might remember him from his visits to Israel during the last three years. He took the time to meet some of you personally before his concerts. I remember one high school student from Ra'anana asking him, "Don't you think you're too young to conduct the Philharmonic?" And he answered, "Why? I've been conducting my toys since I was 7!" Later he said, "When I was 5, really wanted to play trombone in a salsa band like my father, but my arm was too short for the slide, so I had to start violin."
It was a bit like traveling with a rock star: in every city, sold out audiences were dying to witness "Dudamel magic". Back stage was full of young people waiting to say "hi" to Gustavo or sit with him in his dressing room. "Magic" is really the right word and orchestra loved it! Dudamel inspired the orchestra and infected the audience with his black hair flying, his dancing on the podium, and his limitless energy. Every performance, whether with pieces of Leonard Bernstein and Tchaikovsky or Mendelssohn and Brahms, ended in the cheering audience jumping to its feet. Music critics fell over themselves for the chance to write about the young maestro. The Israel Philharmonic scored not only an artistic victory, but also an incredible publicity victory by appearing with the budding "super-star."
The orchestra played in New York City's Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Philadelphia, then flew to the West Coast for three more concerts. The last concert was in the Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles where Gustavo will be music director starting next year.
In Carnegie Hall, Nitzan Bartana, a student from the Buchman-Mehta Academy joined Pinchas Zukerman and the IPO to perform the Bach Double Concerto. Nitzan has performed in KeyNote concerts and often works as a substitute in the IPO. She got a great review in the New York Times!
The Maestro showed off his Latin roots with "Tico Tico" as a final encore! The audience tried to clap in time with the orchestra, and Gustavo saved the situation by conducting them instead of the players!