Dudamel’s Magic Wand

Dudamel’s Magic Wand

От

Kate Moró

Словарь

baton

/ˈbætən/
The stick of a conductor in musical performances.

conductor

/kənˈdʌktə/
A person who conducts an orchestra, choir or other music ensemble; a professional whose occupation is conducting.

enthusiasm

/ɪnˈθjuːzɪæzm/
Intensity of feeling; excited interest or eagerness.

impoverished

/ɪmˈpɒvərɪʃt/
Reduced to poverty; to become poor.
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The reigning king of orchestral music is the Venezualian conductor Gustavo Dudamel. He is the current music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) and Opéra national de Paris (Paris Opera). Even if you know nothing about classical music, chances are you have seen him: in 2021, Dudamel shared the Hollywood Bowl stage with Billie Eilish, as she performed the entirety of her album, Happier Than Ever, accompanied by the LA Phil. Dudamel has such a fascinating personality that he even inspired the character of Rodrigo in Amazon’s series about the NY Phil, Mozart in the Jungle. The series’ protagonist is also young, Latin American, curly-haired, and very passionate.

Dudamel’s story is indeed inspiring. His path to the world of classical music was quite unique. Early on, he became involved in El Sistema, Venezualian social programme that provides free classical music education for impoverished children. He had learnt to play violin, but soon found his true calling. At the age of 13, he put down his violin and picked up the baton when the conductor was running late. At 18, Gustavo was appointed music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the famous national youth orchestra of Venezuela. In 2004, Dudamel won the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Germany, which opened many doors for him. From then on, he was invited to conduct on the world’s grandest classical stages, from La Scala to the Met Opera. In 2009, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

What makes him stand out is the ability to radiate enthusiasm, listen to his musicians, and interact without words. “When I step onto a stage in a faraway land, with an orchestra I have never met, which doesn’t speak English or Spanish, I enter fearlessly. I’m confident that we have at least two languages in common: music and body language,” says the maestro. After all, the role of a conductor is to communicate their vision and emotion to the orchestra with just a sweep of the magic wand, baton. And with this, dozens of individual musicians unite in collective harmony. As Professor Dumbledore once said, “Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here.”

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