Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert
Preview of the Concert

Named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World for 2009” and frequently described as the most dynamic young conductor to arrive on the classical music scene since the legendary Leonard Bernstein, 28-year-old Gustavo Dudamel begins his tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in fall 2009. Making his American television debut on the Great Performances telecast of Carnegie Hall Celebrates Berlin in January 2008, Dudamel’s infectious energy and exceptional artistry will be on display once again as he conducts his inaugural concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded for national telecast from Disney Concert Hall on October 8. Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert will be broadcast on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances series in HD Wednesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. EST (check local listings).

Watch a preview:

The Los Angeles Philharmonic is widely regarded as one of the most contemporary and innovative orchestras in America. Dudamel made his U.S. conducting debut with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl in September 2005. In April 2007, during a guest conducting engagement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel was named the LA Phil’s next Music Director as of the 2009-2010 season, succeeding Esa-Pekka Salonen. “For me, this is really so exciting to be starting my first season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” says Dudamel. “First, this is a beautiful challenge and second, it’s a wonderful opportunity to make great music with my new LA Phil family. The most important thing is to enjoy our time together.”

On the program for his inaugural concert are Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major (“Titan”) and the world premiere of that latest work by Pulitzer Prize-winning music composer John Adams, City Noir. “As the title suggests, ‘City Noir’ is a symphony inspired by the peculiar ambience and mood of Los Angeles ‘noir’ films, especially those produced in the late forties and early fifties,” reveals Adams, newly appointed LA Phil Creative Chair. “My music is an homage not necessarily to the film music of that period but rather to the overall aesthetic of the era.”

Gustavo Dudamel is the product of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela, or more popularly known as El Sistema (the System), created in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu, a Venezuelan conductor, petroleum economics professor and former congressional deputy. Targeting mostly children living in slums, the System gives a musical instrument and instruction to many underprivileged and at-risk Venezuelan youth as an alternative to gang life and crime. “Music changed my life,” Dudamel told the British Herald newspaper. “I can look back now and see that many of the boys from my class went on to become involved in drugs and crime. Those who played music did not.”

Before he even begins his directorship at the LA Phil, Dudamel has been instrumental in creating the American version of El Sistema, YOLA or Youth Orchestra Los Angeles. The program, modeled after the Venezuelan prototype, began in 2007 with youth between the ages of seven and 16 from a disadvantaged district in south central Los Angeles, but its ultimate goal is to provide a musical instrument and a place in a youth orchestra for every Los Angeles county young person who wants one.

News of Gustavo Dudamel’s talent first spread worldwide after his triumph at the inaugural Bamberger Symphoniker Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in May 2004. Just three years later, Dudamel was awarded the Premio de la Latindad, an honor given for outstanding contributions to Latin cultural life. In 2008, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra was granted Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, given annually by the Prince of Asturias Foundation in Spain. Dudamel was awarded the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Young Artists and, most recently, along with his mentor Dr. Abreu, the 2008 “Q Prize” from Harvard University for extraordinary service to children.

The national PBS telecast of Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert is being produced by Bernhard Fleischer Moving Images, THIRTEEN for WNET.ORG, ZDF-ARTE, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Directed for television by Brian Large, the concert will be telecast in South America and Asia as well.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers and PBS. Major funding is also provided by The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, with additional funding from the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

  • Gladys Feigenbaum

    I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to the broadcast on Wed. night and proud of Channel 13 for broadcasting the performance. Music is a universal language and a child’s life is enriched with the opportuniety to play an instrument together with others.

  • Julie Leininger Pycior

    ¡Que Viva Dudamel!

  • Maria Pazmany

    I heard about him with the Venezuela Youth Orchestra and very excited to hear the concert on Wednesday!

  • Kathie Morrison

    Triangle viewers may be interested to know about KidZNotes, a Durham non-profit that will launch an El Sistema-inspired program in the Fall of 2010 in East Durham, to be led by Ms. Kathryn Wyatt,one of only ten Abreu Fellows now studying El Sistema at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The Abreu Fellows will also spend two months in Venezuela studying with Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema, AND with Gustavo Dudamel. For more info about KidZNotes, email me at katmorster@gmail.com.

  • Migdalia Quijada

    I am so proud of this new young conductor, what a gift for young new generations. I am sorry WETA is not going to be streaming the concert for other countries to watch. Bravo Gustavo! Can’t wait until tomorrow!

  • Esteban Esquivel

    Gustavo eres nuestro orgullo!

  • Marty

    Both performances (conducting CSO and conducting the Youth Orchestra) at CSO last season were absolutely awesome. The energy Dudamel brings is breathtaking. I won’t miss a second of this show tonight!

  • Fernando Morales

    Please include Venezuela in the streaming… Greetings!

  • albert

    I wont be able to catch this. let me know if this recording will be posted online (youtube or somewhere?)

  • carlos dos santos

    Dudamel (Gustavo), es producto de un esfuerzo llevado con entusiasmo por miles de jóvenes en Venezuela, solo que los genios para la música nacen y no se hacen, de todas formas él es excepcional y el programa “sistema” es maravilloso, hay tanton jóvenes valiosos que si no se aprovechan se perderan. Bravo Gustavo

  • Mel Jenkins

    I tuned in to hear the music that was commented on so favorably in the NYTimes. I did not tune in for a puffery of Los Angeles and its star-power. Unfortunately, as is often the case when one “thing” (more demanding music, in this case) tries to be something else (in this case celebrity) the probability is it will not succeed with either audience.

    While I had specifically designated the time this evening to watch/listen, I am not.

  • Maria Guimaraes

    Thank you for the broadcast. I just would hope that you wouldn’t cut to Tom Hanks so much and make such a contrived effort to “mainstream” Gustavo by having celebrities subscribe to his talent. Tom Hanks is NOBODY in classical music history or its contemporary stage. Please, don’t underestimate your audience. This actually diminishes what you are doing.
    Promote Gustavo as the huge talent, the eloquent artist that he is. No need to cut to celebrities.

  • M .J. Leclerc

    Wish you would have put down Toscanini as a choice
    for a favorite “Mahler Conductor”you still have
    some old folks alive that remember Arturo.

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  • Pat Floyd

    Gustavo Dudamel, you are mastro extrodinare! I haven’t seen such talent in a long time. In your conducting I felt every note and the orchestra responded to your every move. They have great respect for you and it shows. And, you conducted without a score in front of you enabling you to connect so well with the musicians. In this day and time where average seems to be the norm, you have excelled to greatness! Hurrah, hurrah! I sat alone in my living room clapping when the performance was over with tears in my eyes.

  • Bill & Ziva Naumann

    Dramatic, elegaic, nuanced, suspenseful, Dudamel seems to evoke musical flavors and fragrances we might otherwise have missed. Simply stunning.

  • Herman Joseph

    My reaction to this concert is beyond speech-so great and inspiring were the music and the perforance under Dudamel.

  • Jim Schoensee

    Great concert! Great music making!

  • Marshall Segall

    Never have I heard (and seen, thanks to brilliant television coverage of both conductor and orchestra) a more exciting, emotionally rich performance of Mahler’s ist symphony. I could have stood and cheered, so glad to be alive to witness this event.

  • John & Joan Chionis

    The Mahler concert by Gustavo Dudamel was very good. His directing was superb, but I’m afraid the audio volume was mismanaged by the sound engineer. Bravo Gustavo!!

  • Dutch Souder

    What a wonderful concert! What a wonderful young conductor! The concert brought tears of joy to my eyes. I hope that PBS will show more concerts by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil.

  • Olga Lozano

    Thank you Gustavo for your great performance, I am so proud that you are one of the Venezuelan talent of the Maestro Abreu students’and the Sistema, remember ” El cielo es el limite”, I am from Venezuela living in USA and I have been following all your triumphs,Bravo!

  • June Gibson

    Wonderful concert. Great interpretation of Mahler!

  • julio Rodriguez

    I just watched the inaugural concert, it was just breathtaking. He reminded me of Leonard Bernstein and John Adams Masterpiece is up there with Stravinsky’s best.

  • Gerard Arria-Devoe

    Incredible performance by this young Maestro,superdinamic and really delightful conduction of the LA Orchestra. Me too sat alone in my living room clapping very loud at the end of the performance. !Bravo! for Gustavo Dudamel.

  • Brenda Rich

    Bravo, Gustavo!!

  • Rono Prince

    I think #13 and #14 described this concert to a T. I agree with everything they say about Gustavo Dudamel and his wonderful conducting ability. As a symphony viola player, I am amazed a what he can get from the players.
    His talent is so emotional and sincere, I can see why they play so well. Looking for more of Gustavo in the future!

  • Felix

    Bravo!!! Bravo!! Go Dudamel!!

  • John W. Tucker

    You made history tonight Gustavo!!! I watched the Inaugural Concert on WVIZ from Cleveland. Please come to conduct in Severance Hall as soon as possible. BRAVO!!!

  • Allen Graffam

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chul Moo Lee

    I have listened many different conductors’ Mahler’s Symphony No.1. Solti, Berstein, Rattle and many more. Dudamel’s sound is really outstanding. Bravo!!

  • Drew Bartley

    John Adam’s “City Noir” was fantastic. Gustavo… Bravo. The LA Phil… congratulations.

  • Drew Bartley

    I want to order the dvd, but missed the phone number. did anyone get it?

  • SoCalMama

    Anyone else having trouble hearing the program? Is it the miking? Can barely hear piano, snares, bass, even though shown playing.

  • Peter Allsop

    Perfomances like this should make converts to classical music from many ‘POP’ afficionados………if they have any sense!

  • marcos Brizuela

    watching Gustavo Dudamel conducting LA Philharmonic has touched and changed my life immediately.

  • Neli Iotzova

    It was beautiful! Just beautiful! My children Anna and Alex, both age 8, sat hypnotized and listened to the music. I wish that next time we are in the audience. Thank you, Gustavo!

  • Chola Con Cello

    Maestro Gustavo Dudamel rescues the night on PBS with ‘City Noir’ a work about Los Angeles…what a great cacophony of sonic LA styles and moods. Mahler’s 1st Symphony, a Symphony he has conducted since age 16, an old friend, a magnificent gift of hope. Tonight I have a new feeling for the LA Phil and for L.A., because working class-kids once again have a shot at classical music after over 20 years of cuts in arts education in the public schools… and an inspiration in Gustavo Dudamel, el apasionado. Brilliant talent and modest as they come. If you could see him conducting the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) you’d be moved to tears by his connection to the children, as he develops their musicianship. Off stage he seems is modest, authentic, exudes kindness, purpose, love of children and people, and a laser focus on the MUSIC and building classical musicians and audiences! Lucky us!!! ¡Cuánto lo apreciamos, maestro Dudamel!

  • Janet

    I enjoy watching Gustavo Dudamel very much – it’s brought tears to my eyes. The music is wonderful although I agree with others that the sound engineering made listening frustrating and disappointing not to hear the piano and other instruments that were shown.

  • Robert Laughlin

    What a bunch of crap. A great performance, yes. But no mention of the composer. Just a bunch of hero worship for Dudamel. Yes, Dudamel is great. But so is Mahler. If it weren’t for Mahler and his like, Dudamel would have nothing to conduct. This shows….no no no…this proves how shallow PBS is. PBS is Pure BS. It’s Pro Britney Spears. Folks, come pledge time, save your money.

  • Bill Crisman

    Viewed the ignaugural concert this evening on KCTS (Seattle) in Tacoma, WA. This is the first time (in over 60 years) that I’m able to say I enjoyed Mahler; before he always seemed to me to offer many, many disjointed pieces that had no coherent soul…no matter how beautiful the individual fragments might be. Tonight, though, I’ve finally been made to see why so many musicians love his work. Thank you.

  • marlys burnett

    The inspiration of this one man’s gift, and spirit
    will lift those who labor in the cause of developing music talent and training. Thank you PBS.

  • Victoria Ghulam

    Cheering in my livingroom for the music, and for the children who will benefit from Dudamel’s influence here in the US. Bravo Gustavo!

    Did anyone write down the phone number for ordering the video? Please post it. I want to share this concert with my students.

  • Jim Nelson

    I was totally fixated on the performance this evening. Absolutely brilliant performance. While I am currently a performing jazz musician, my roots are grounded in classical music performance, and the performance this evening brought me back to fully appreciate my classical roots.

    Bravo to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

  • Chica

    I have the same question with #42. It was a fantastic performance. I would love to order the DVD, but I cannot find it at PBS store.

  • Mike von Gortler

    Robert Laughlin – Post #39 – Its diffiicult for me to understand what your problem is. Any fan of classical music with a modest awareness knows who the GREAT MAHLER is/was. I watched this dazzling performance with tears in my eyes through almost the entire performance. Lighten up and let the joy of Mahler spread through your veins like sweet honey. Life is TOO SHORT for sour grapes.

    A fan of MAHLER (first and foremost) and of DUDAMEL (a rising star).

  • Ana Elena

    It is an extraordinary experience we are sharing here. Mahler’ symphonie conducted by Dudamel was breathtaking, I never felt so alive and possesed by music! At the end -same as many of you- I jumped from my seat clapping aloud- alone in my living room. For those of you asking for the number to order ( I recorded the program) ‘here it is: 1800 336 1917. Bravo Gustavo y que Dios te bendiga!

  • Anita Wright

    I’ve been on this planet a while and it brings me such joy to be able to know that young talents like Dudamel are appearing every deneration to continue to bring the love of beauitul music to the masses.

  • Robert Severs

    Amazing performance. #11 Mel Jenkins sorry you missed the show. I hope you enjoyed your turkey!!

  • Robert Severs

    Amazing performance. For #11 Mel Jenkins sorry you missed the show. I hope you enjoy your turkey.

  • Alana London

    I just watched the Dudamel LA Inaugural concert. While I thank PBS channel 13 for broadcasting it I found the frequent crawl advertising the station objectionable. The crawl was almost constant in some sections of the music and was not at the bottom of the screen but 1/3 of the way up covering the picture. Very poor judgement on the part of Channel 13 (New York)

  • Jan

    Amazing! How does he move his hands that way! and his facial expressions! and such communication with the orchestra! i cheered. Beautiful and inspiring. Thanks Ana Elena for the phone number.

  • geoff

    Man oh man oh man oh man! Fantastic. The musicians seem to respond to him, to say the least. The lead oboeist was nearly crying upon completion. (And Quincy Jones’ endorsement, that’s enough for me.)

  • lynn byron

    I am 82 however I wouldnt have missed this broadcast-gustavo is amazing- what emotion will you tell me how to obtain the dvd -way past my bedtime and well worth it

  • Robert Rosoff

    Probably the very best performance of Mahler #1 I have ever heard. The Glens Falls (NY) Symphony performs it on May 9, 2010 – what a performance to aspire toward!

  • Patricia Sotolongo

    It is a great feeling watching Gustavo’s performances, which make me keep in mind what Venezuela is able to produce for the world. It is an amazing experience having Dudamel leading LA Phil.
    Viva Gustavo Dudamel!!

  • Patricia Sotolongo

    It is a great feeling watching Gustavo’s performances, which make me keep in mind what Venezuela is able to produce for the world. It is an amazing experience having Dudamel leading LA Phil.
    Viva Gustavo Dudamel!!

  • Robert Rosoff

    Probably the very best performance of Mahler#1 I have ever heard. What an inspiration looking forward to it’s performance by the Glens Falls(NY) Symphony’s performance on May 9, 2010

  • Grace Raymond

    Extraordinary performance; I especialy was impressed with Maestro Dudamel’s explanation of his passion for Mahler. Breathtaking!

  • Dave Porter

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Simply wonderful!
    What is the phone number to order the DVD?

  • Andreina

    Que tiemble el mundo de la música de camara…Gustavo Dudamel, vino para quedarse y llevar bien en alto el nombre de Venezuela !!! Felícidades y que sigas cosechando muchos exitos!!!

  • Andreina

    Eres grande, Gustavo Dudamel!… eres Venezolano

  • Rita

    How can I purchase a DVD of this fabulous concert?

  • Rita

    How can I buy a DVD of last night’s fabulous concert. I missed the phone number on screen at the end. Thank you.

  • JEFFRY MARTIN

    I LOVED THE PERFORMANCE. I CANNOT FIND THE DVD IN YOUR CATALOG. WHERE CAN I PURCHASE THE DVD?

  • colin fitzpatrick
  • Chris Robins

    Wonderful performance. Thank goodness classical music is still alive. The young saxophonist was unbelievable. How can anyone play an instrument like that? We forget the terrific talent in the orchestra. Did you see how fast his fingers were flying and the most gorgeous sounds. Such a very difficult piece to play. Bravo to all!!!!!

  • maryjane

    Bravo! Gustavo’s energy is amazing. A super performance. I now appreciate Mahler. I caught a repeat the next day and loved it as much the second time. The orchestra’s performance brought tears to my eyes. More of him, please.

  • Linnea

    I have Verizon FIOS & they didn’t broadcast the concert. Instead I got something called KCET Orange with lots of really stupid OC programming. What happened?

  • George Caloyannidis

    The one thing which impressed me more than anything else was that Dudamel, for the first time was able to elicit a world class, uniform “sound” from the L.A. Philharmonic. None of his illustrious predecessors has been able to overcome the perennial tendency of individual instruments making primadonna entries.
    Keep it up Gustavo and the L.A. Philharmonic will be joining the ranks of the Vienna, Berlin and Amsterdam.

  • Marie

    Response to Comment #12 – Maria Guimaraes:

    Just to put you at ease: the camera wasn’t cutting to Tom Hanks, it was cutting to the man sitting next to him: the legendary JOHN ADAMS, composer of City Noir, the first piece of the evening. I was there, sitting behind the orchestra, and I can assure you that all eyes were on John, not Tom. (In fact, we spotted John Adams right away and were wondering who the familiar-looking man sitting next to him was.) All the LA Phil patrons all wanted to see how John Adams reacted to Gustavo’s interpretation of his piece because Gustavo had never conducted his work before and Mr. Adams’ compositions are extremely difficult. Suffice to say, he looked very looked very happy towards the end :)

  • Lois Jeffrey

    I join all the other commenters who praised the concert, both pieces. Next time they interview Dudamel, however, I hope they employ someone who knows the music. Andy Garcia was pathetic.

  • Lucie Christiaanse

    Wij hebben er geen woorden voor…!Héél bijzonder
    om “mee te maken”(via sateliet,Arte)Nu speuren naar de dvd.Wanneer komt die uit en waar te bestellen.Help,Au Secours,Hilfe

  • Mellow Rapp

    I watched it last night and at the end of the concert, I was almost in tears. It was an amazing concert! Please don’t miss it. Gustavo was explosive. I will watch it over and over again.

  • brian

    Wow! I must say, being a brother from the hood-that at the most, I was a channel serfing spectator(with a trigger finger) in regards to classical music. Thanks to PBS, my participation statis has taken a huge leap forward. Within 24 hours, my seven yr old daughter was educating her teacher about Gustavo Dudamel. It was truly a beautiful thing to behold. Standing Ovations from my living room to you Mr, John Adams! Bravo Gustavo! Thank you PBS! the check is in the mail… no seriously.

  • Julianna Vaughan

    Can this concert be purchased?

  • Amy Cohen Banker

    I saw it in repeat today on Sunday and did also
    think of Leonard Bernstein in a positive way.
    Garcia was o.k. You guys are so critical.
    I was so appreciative and wished that I could have
    been there.

  • gary rynar

    i saw it twice today #13 #21 simply fantastic,, gustavo dudamel complete control,,, every section sounded great,,, this performance will never get old can watch over and over,,, bravo,,,,

  • Gary Rynar

    I saw it in repeat today sunday… Gustavo Dudemal simply Fantastic!!! Complete control… The orchestra responded to his every move,, sounded great,, he got everything out the musicians,,, could watch it again…….

  • Roberth Torrealba

    I never has been a classical music fanatic, however, I saw the all concert and like a lot. In fact I wach It two times. The most fantastic thing for me, is how Gustavo and the musicians are so conected. The musicians respond to every move so perfect, with presition.

  • Ben Gibby

    Gustavo was amazing, Mahler was fantastic. Adams was unlistenable. I really think the sheet music the musicians had was mixed up, there had to be more than one piece being played.

  • Jaydee Hale

    Riveting! But in one sense, I was disappointed in that you cut away from Gustav way too often. I used to attend the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra when I lived there so as to watch the actions of the wonderful Gezella Bendor and that truly is the point in attending. The music by itself can be heard on a CD but the excitement is in watching the conductor, not the individual instrument players. There was a letdown each time you panned to the players. Gustav was magnificant in that he did not use sheet music, the expression on his face as he felt each not, the body language in the crescendos was beyond description but the camera left all of this too often. Had the cameras stayed on him, I believe you would sell more DVDS.
    I wonder if other people watching feel the same way?

  • Carole Weinstein

    I love Gustavo so had to watch, but hated City Noir and fell asleep. Woke up in time for Mahler and was entranced as I had never heard it before and Gustavo is so in control. We watch all his concerts via Sky Arts, London UK. Bad choice for first part of concert as if this occurs we switch off.

  • Gregor Haclev

    I attended the concert and watched the broadcast. City Noir was stunning, lovely, and entirely accessible. Strange but perhaps to be expected that some don’t get it.

  • Sylvia Munzer

    Absolutely loved the concert. Dudamel – awesome and John Adams piece terrific. The saxophonist performance of Adams most difficult piece was simply brillant. What a “magical night.”

  • Chris Cuben

    Not only did I see Dudamel conduct the amazing “City Noir” live at Disney Hall, but I got to meet composer John Adams (he even signed my program)! John spoke bravely on the critical importance of fine arts in the lives of our children – especially under-served youth. I had my own transformative experience with the CSO & Sir George Solti years back (Berlioz – S.F.). I encourage generous support for two 501(c)(3) non-profits that really do the good work – AIM (www.AlternativeInterventionModels.Org) and ProjectMuszed (www.ProjectMuszed.Org)

  • Gabriel Pardo

    My dad is a connoisseur (but also a pain in tne a$$ as a critic), while I just really like classical music. We both loved the inaugural concert, so full of energy, passion and class. Bravo Gustavo, we are thrilled on the prospect of having an opportunity to see you in the future. All of our best wishes

  • Tish

    Thank you for your comment. It just goes to show how shallow viewers are, not thinking beyond the boy from the commy country. In addition, what a way to infiltrate our country with their ideas.

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  • Jim

    These contrived comments of an overpaid clown are ridiculous, he’s a damn average conductor and that is it. You people are so enamoured with a music director equivalent to Schwartzenegger you have lost your minds.

    The publicity given this man is so unwarranted, i don’t care how much PR the L.A. Phil, Borda and company pay to try to shove it down our throughts, this dude may memorize scores, but the other BS you are selling is counterfeit, this little fucker is a stink bomb. Whatever cash you and Abreu are lineing your pockets with under the guise of music for the poor and Abreu getting the Nobel Peace Prize (peace meaning cash) stop it, it is offensive you money grubbing low life snakes. L.A. is bankrupt and the underlying BS you L.A. Phil Administration cash cows are doing is disgraceful, just do your underhanded shit and stop selling this Latino fraud to continue to rape (NFP MY ASS) L. A. and insult children and parents with this El Sistema BS

  • Know it all

    You speak as if you’ve played under this man. I have and I can tell you from the 30+ years as an orchestral musician, I’ve been under his baton more than once and these experiences were all extraordinary. Speak what you know, it’s nothing more than great music. Stop overthinking.

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