Gustavo Dudamel Withdraws from New York Philharmonic Concerts

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Conductor Gustavo Dudamel has withdrawn from this week's scheduled concerts with the New York Philharmonic, citing a severe flu.

Manfred Honeck, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, will take his place, leading the scheduled program of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony and Claude Vivier's Orion, Thursday through Saturday.

Dudamel's spokesman, Mary Lou Falcone, said he caught the flu last week while on tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he is music director. "By Sunday afternoon he was a pretty sick person," she said. "But he conducted through it."

The concerts, in New York, Montreal, Boston and Washington, DC, drew largely favorable reviews but Dudamel was also dogged by some ongoing questions over his perceived silence on the political unrest in his native Venezuela. A group of protesters staged a demonstration outside of Boston's Symphony Hall on Sunday. Dudamel addressed those criticisms last week in a Times Talk, hosted by the New York Times. “I condemn strongly violence, wherever it’s coming from,” he said, adding that he respects “the right of people to protest.”

WQXR broadcasts the New York Philharmonic's concerts.