Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bienvenido Gustavo Indeed

Bienvenido Gustavo ProgramI hadn't planned on attending the free event (sponsored by Target) at the Hollywood Bowl welcoming Gustavo Dudamel as LA Phil's new music director, but my friend Jeff had extra tickets to provide for me and my sister. My sister is a LA native, in town from Chicago, and had never been to the Hollywood Bowl before, so it was kind of an inaugural event within an inaugural event. But if I had to coin the evening, it was experiencing LA in all of the right ways.

Hollywood Bowl StashThere was the "feast" - the hodge podge of food brought by our group. My stash? Muscat Cannelli from Chateau St. Michelle and cookies. Jeff also brought a Muscat Cannelli, peaches, pie, and Kaviar - spelled with K and in a tube. Contributing to the cookie pile were Katie's sugar cookies, and my sister sliced up a grilled pork Banh Mi into four pieces.

There was the talent. The evening was a gamut of the talented known and unknown. There were the Hollywood celebrities, among them Jack Black and Andy Garcia introducing acts, famous acts including Herbie Hancock, and rising stars from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music and YOLA Expo Center Youth Orchestra (playing "Ode to Joy" led by Dudamel).

Fireworks at the BowlThere was the crowd, and the crowd was celebratory and proud. As Gustavo Dudamel stated in his closing speech, his pride in being both Venezuelan and American, his desire that there be no divide - no North and South America - you felt that sentiment in the crowd. There were no generational gaps, no musical divisions of style nor divisions of ethnic backgrounds - just people, just music, just celebration. Los Angeles is home to peoples and cultures that coalesce and remain distinctive all at once.

...and Gustavo Dudamel? Well, he's just an amazing conductor, representing Los Angeles in all the right ways. ¡Bienvenido Gustavo!

-Charity Tran

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