Gustavo Dudamel Conducts Bolivar Orchestra at Chávez Funeral

Thursday, March 07, 2013 - 04:21 PM

Updated Friday 3/8/13 at 1:30 pm

Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel attended the funeral of President Hugo Chávez in Caracas on Friday, conducting the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and a choir in the country's National Anthem and other selections.

Dudamel's trip forced him to miss Friday evening's concert at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he is music director. In addition to his LA duties, Dudamel is music director of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, which is based in Caracas.

Dudamel has largely refrained from speaking about Venezuelan politics, saying in interviews that his sympathies are with his fellow countryman. He is arguably the most famous product of El Sistema, Venezuela's pioneering music education program.

On Wednesday Dudamel provided a statement to the AFP news service. "This is a very sad day for my country and my countrymen," said Dudamel. "My deepest condolences to the family of President Chavez and the Venezuelan family in this difficult time."

Below: Dudamel conducts at the Chávez funeral:

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Comments [5]

Peter Feldman from New York City

This event does not talk well about the political wisdom of Gustavo Dudamel, he is not any Arturo Toscanini who refused to play for Dictators. Thank God Dudamel is not based in New York City.

Mar. 24 2013 07:57 PM
Tina

As a person passionate about classical music, I applaud Venezuela in their amazing efforts to support young people, many very poor, to excel in their chosen field of music. Bravo!

Mar. 09 2013 09:29 PM
Luis E Bertot from Miami Fla

The DOG is dead and so is his madness. We call on all Venezuelans to revolt and return to democracy before it is too late stop the leftist game of slavery and pursicution.

Mar. 09 2013 09:57 AM
Julie

Thank you for posting this. The human pageant...

Mar. 08 2013 10:53 PM
Mark from New York City

This national anthem is very moving. This is the first time I've heard it, but the words are extraordinary for any national hymn, and the music, especially when played and sung so well, can bring people to tears. I can see why, according to one news report, the huge crowd gathered outside the funeral "lost it" when they watched on giant screens as the hymn was played and sung.

Another well-done piece with the same orchestra, chorus and director is their performance of Beethoven's 9th, which I found on this same site. It's apparently from at least a few days before the funeral. No wonder Simon Rattle says that "the future of classical music is here, in Venezuela."

Mar. 08 2013 03:22 PM

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