Dudamel has become the embodiment of the cultural renaissance of Los Angeles. I never tire of watching the dip in his knees when a particularly pungent musical passage comes along and then the way he rises on his toes for a fanfare. His solidarity with the youth of his troubled native country is commendable and this is where he feels his focus should be. But is the Ode to Joy Dudamel's sotto voce answer to his critics who decry his silence on Venezuela? Beethoven may have been deaf, but Dudamel is not.
Within the past month we have read with sadness of the deaths of four important artists who seemingly have little in common: composer and author Mary Rodgers Guettel, internationally famous American conductor Lorin Maazel, Broadway and cabaret star Elaine Stritch, and the legendary operatic tenor Carlo Bergonzi. They do actually have one thing in common: me.