Look out U.S., here comes Gustavo Dudamel

Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:08pm EDT
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By Dana Ford

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Look out America -- or, make that the United States of America -- Gustavo Dudamel is headed your way.

On May 10, the curly-haired maestro of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will embark on his first ever U.S. tour as music director of the "L.A. Phil," introducing the conductor who is known as a rock star of the classical music world and his new orchestra to audiences in eight major U.S. cities.

Several months after taking over at the helm of one of the world's top orchestras, the 29 year-old Dudamel is settling into his role, moving beyond the hype that accompanied his appointment and focusing on his work.

Whenever he can, he spreads a message to fans that seems unusual in this city of Hollywood stars and media moguls.

It's not about me, he says.

"The attention is amazing and I love that. It's true when you have the attention of people, things go well."

But, he is quick to add, "It's not about Gustavo Dudamel. It's not even about the L.A. Philharmonic. It's about the community."

For music lovers in the City of Angels, who have come to know the excitable Dudamel, his clarion call to civic responsibility sounds familiar, but to those outside it strikes a fresh note in what sometimes seems to be the insular world of orchestras and classical music.   Continued...

<p>Venezuelan born Gustavo Dudamel, the new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, takes part in a press briefing in Los Angeles September 30, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>