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Arts and Entertainment

Gustavo Dudamel Takes L.A.'s Classical Music Scene to a New Level

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If there was one thing to say about Saturday night's concert at the Hollywood Bowl, which was 28-year-old Gustavo Dudamel's premiere as its conductor and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is that it brought excited crowds out from all walks of life.

From where we sat, a young couple was heard talking about indie bands and Silver Lake/Echo Park music venues. One row down, a 70-year-old man is used his point-and-shoot camera to record the Dudamel in action. To the side, a toddler pretended to conduct the orchestra with his hands.

When Dudamel walked out for the first time to conduct the youth orchestra, he was given a standing ovation by the 18,000 (or so) people in the crowd. It was quite a statement in itself for the world's most watched conductor to raise his baton for the first time at his new job, not to professionals, but to children from South Los Angeles. But that's what Dudamel is all about--the children, education, experiencing music like he did growing up in Venezuela.

And then came the L.A. Philharmonic. And in the words of LA Times' music critic Mark Swed, "the Dude pulled it off." In a major way. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony literally rocked.

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If you missed it (in person or online), no worries, the Dude will be here for a good while. He says he loves this city. So do we.