Tickets: $90 / $25
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|Prokofiev:||Symphony No. 5|
“When he inaugurated his [Los Angeles] Philharmonic tenure, at the Hollywood Bowl, a crowd of 18,000 people greeted him with a hollering, stamping, pop-star ovation. Just as impressive was the hush that fell over the Bowl during the ensuing performance. … Such feats of immersion explain why this young man has caused unaccustomed tremors of optimism in the classical world.” It’s safe to say that these tremors the New Yorker observed when Gustavo Dudamel laid down his North American roots in 2009 are still reverberating. Observing a more recent rehearsal with a youth orchestra, the Financial Times remarked, “He spent half an hour analyzing this short section in unrelenting detail with the young players. None of the great martinet conductors of the past, not George Szell or Fritz Reiner, could have been more exigent, but Dudamel uses playful humor, not withering sarcasm. … The teenagers watched him and they didn’t blink or snigger. Next time round, the theme sounded transfigured: it had gone from anemic to full-blooded.” Having himself grown up in music through Venezuela’s world-inspiring El Sistema program, Dudamel has shaped countless musicians through his unceasing work with its youth orchestras since his own teenage years. He is bringing the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela to Ravinia to marry the joy of Prokofiev’s “hymn to free and happy man, [and] his pure and noble spirit,” his Fifth Symphony, with a series of rousing Latin-American orchestral works.