Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
Viva Maestro!, a 2022 documentary written and directed by Theodore Braun, is a paean to the LA Phil’s own Gustavo Dudamel.
Except he’s not just ours—far from it. He’s the director of the Paris Opera, music director of Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, and a world-wide ambassador for the unifying, transcendent power of music.
Dudamel, a native of Venezuela, came up in El Sistema, the publicly financed, arts and community-building classical music-education program founded in 1975 by Venezuelan educator, musician, and activist José Antonio Abreu (1939-2018).
In fact, the documentary is also a paean to Abreu and the electric spirit and sense of responsibility that he passed on to one of his star pupils. Says Dudamel: “Abreu helped me to understand the universe of possibilities and how to use those possibilities to do something special.
“Wunderkind!” “Conductor of the People!” “Rock Star!” run the headlines.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.