HomeMusicGustavo Dudamel in New York: Selfies, Hugs and Mahler

Gustavo Dudamel in New York: Selfies, Hugs and Mahler


The violins had been tuning, the woodwinds warming up and the trumpets blaring bits of Mahler. Then the musicians of the New York Philharmonic started to whistle and cheer.

Gustavo Dudamel, one of many world’s biggest conducting stars, strode onto the stage this month for his first rehearsal with the Philharmonic since being named the ensemble’s subsequent music director. On this system was Mahler’s epic Ninth Symphony.

“I’ll have the chance within the subsequent few days to hug all people,” he instructed the musicians, smiling and pumping his fist. “I’m very honored to change into a part of the household.”

As it occurred, the orchestra’s new corridor, the lately renovated David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, was occupied that day, so Dudamel’s first rehearsal passed off at its previous house, Carnegie Hall. Dudamel stated he felt a connection to Mahler, who carried out the Philharmonic at Carnegie when he was its music director from 1909 to 1911.

“This was Mahler’s orchestra,” he stated, noting Mahler’s ties to New York when he wrote it. “Even if they don’t seem to be the identical musicians, they’ve that heritage of Mahler.”

While Dudamel doesn’t take the podium in New York till 2026, his 5 days with the Philharmonic this month, for rehearsals and performances of the Mahler, had been an unofficial begin. They got here at a second of transition for him in additional methods then one: every week later he would announce that he was resigning as music director of the Paris Opera. But New York felt like a brand new starting, and as he obtained to know the orchestra and town, he provided a mantra for his tenure: “We can have quite a lot of enjoyable.”

There had been Champagne toasts and rites of passage. In his dressing room Dudamel examined a Mahler rating that after belonged to Leonard Bernstein, a predecessor and famous Mahlerian. There had been hours of intense rehearsals, throughout which Dudamel urged the gamers to embrace Mahler’s operatic impulses and his diversified type.

“It’s not bipolar, it’s tripolar,” he stated of 1 passage. “This is Freud. A brand new character — a brand new spectrum of humanity.”

When Dudamel and the orchestra obtained again to Geffen Hall for the ultimate rehearsals and performances, there have been some surprises.

After a spectral whirring sound surfaced throughout an open rehearsal, he turned to the viewers. “Maybe it’s Mahler,” he stated.

Throughout his go to, Dudamel was greeted as a rock star, with musicians lining up for selfies and hugs.

“You’re a part of my household,” Cynthia Phelps, the principal violist, instructed him at a reception. “Welcome.”

Dudamel thanked the musicians, saying he by no means imagined he would at some point lead one of many world’s prime orchestras.

“To arrive right here, to realize this reference to you, is for me a prize of life,” he stated. “We will develop this love, this connection.”

At the opening concert, Dudamel was nervous. As is his customized, he carried out the symphony, one of many repertory’s most sweeping and profound works, from reminiscence. At the tip of the piece, Dudamel abstained from solo bows, gesturing as a substitute to focus on the contributions of the members of the orchestra.

Backstage, an aide handed Dudamel a glass of scotch.

“My God,” he stated. “What a journey.”

Content Source: www.nytimes.com


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