Classical Music: New, Young Conductors
Published: July 2009
By Anne Midgette
They call it Dudamania: Gustavo Dudamel, the 27-year-old Venezuelan conductor, shaggy-headed and exuberant, is leading performances that lift not only the audience but his musicians from their seats (go to YouTube to see “Mambo” with his Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra). But Dudamel, who tours the States with the Israel Philharmonic (ipo.co.il) this fall and becomes music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2009, is merely the front-runner of a pack of young conducting talents. Also making waves are two Russians: Vladimir Jurowski, the brooding, brilliant music director of England’s Glyndebourne Festival and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic, which he leads in a two-week Tchaikovsky series October 22–November 7 (lpo.co.uk), and Vasily Petrenko, head of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (liverpoolphil.com), who debuts late this year and next in Cincinnati, Dallas, Milwaukee, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Honolulu. Meanwhile, on the music director front: aficionados in the States this fall are watching two Europeans in new positions: Jaap van Zweden at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (dallassymphony.org) and Manfred Honeck in Pittsburgh (pittsburghsymphony.org). Alan Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic, his future home, in an all-Bernstein program at Carnegie Hall on November 14, while Nicola Luisotti, the gifted music director designate of the San Francisco Opera, conducts La Bohème, November 16–December 7 (sfopera.com).