Dudamel Fellowship Created, ¡BIENVENIDO GUSTAVO! Opens LA Philharmonic Season
Friday, May 1, 2009; Posted: 01:05 PM – by BWW News Desk

Music Director Designate Gustavo Dudamel, together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has created the Dudamel Fellowship Program to provide a unique opportunity for promising young conductors from around the world to develop their craft and enrich their musical experience through personal mentorship and participation in the LA Phil’s orchestral and education programs.

Dudamel launches his inaugural season with ¡Bienvenido Gustavo!, a Target® Free Community Concert, a free concert and festival for the community at the Hollywood Bowl, on Saturday, October 3, 2009, sponsored by Target®. The 2009/10 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall begins Thursday, October 8, 2009, with an internationally telecast Inaugural Gala concert featuring the world premiere of John Adams’ LA Phil-commissioned City Noir.

Beginning with the 2009/10 season, the Dudamel Fellowship Program welcomes its first four fellows, handpicked by Gustavo Dudamel. The fellows will work alongside Dudamel and musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and also work with students in key LA Phil education programs. The program for each of the fellows will run separately for approximately 6 weeks each. The fellows will hone their skills through observation and application, such as conducting Los Angeles Philharmonic youth concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, participating as a cover conductor, and serving as mentors themselves through participation in LA Phil education programs such as Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA).

Here is a list of the 2009/10 participating fellows:
David Afkham is said to be one of the most genuinely inspired young talents to appear from Germany in a generation. He is currently the first Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent recipient and works regularly with his mentor Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras. In 2002 he won first prize in the solo-piano category of the German National Piano Competition “Jugend Musiziert.” Afkham is a conducting fellow of the Richard Wagner Association Bayreuth and recently became a member of the Conductor’s Forum of the German Music Council. Afkham has diverse conducting experiences including the London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Civic Orchestra and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. He has also guested with the Staatskapelle Weimar, Critical Orchestra Berlin and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. For the past two years, Afkham has been the artistic director and chief conductor of the KHG-Symphony-Orchestra Freiburg. Afkham is the winner of the 2008 International Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London and is the assistant conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

Diego Mathuez is a protégé of the internationally known Venezuelan program, El Sistema, and has already established himself as one of the most promising developing talents from the Americas. In 2005, he began his conducting studies under the tutelage of Maestro José Antonio Abreu, who has been the greatest proponent and inspiration of his career. He has enjoyed collaborations with Sir Simon Rattle, who invited him to conduct a rehearsal of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, and with Claudio Abbado, whom he has assisted in both Venezuela and in Italy. He has also served as Assistant Conductor for Gustavo Dudamel with the SBNYOV on its most recent tours, as well as with the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden. Mathuez remains one of the concertmasters for the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, with which he has toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States.

Perry So was awarded first prize at the Fifth International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia in April 2008. So has conducted the St Petersburg Camerata, St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with the Staatskapelle Weimar in a workshop hosted by the Deutsche Orchesterverein. He is currently Assistant Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2007, he founded YUE, a summer festival in Huangshan, China, centered on an orchestra consisting of Chinese and American young musicians, and serves as its Music Director.
Christian Vásquez is also a protégé of the internationally known Venezuelan program, El Sistema. In 2005, he was appointed as Music Director of the Aragua Juvenile Symphony Orchestra José Félix Ribas. His debut as a conductor with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela took place in April 2008. One month later he earned great success giving his debut with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Vásquez is set to return to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in 2010 with a series of concerts alongside Myung-Whun Chung.

Four years ago (September 13, 2005), Gustavo Dudamel made his U.S. debut at the Hollywood Bowl. Now, he makes his first appearance as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of a day of free performances at this iconic venue. The festivities will draw on the many cultures and musical traditions of Los Angeles to create a tapestry of the community.

The EXPO Center Youth Orchestra, the first project of Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), makes its Hollywood Bowl debut for this special event. YOLA is the LA Phil’s initiative to build, with community partners, youth orchestras in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. YOLA is inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education system that nurtured Gustavo Dudamel. The Expo Center Youth Orchestra began in the fall of 2007, and currently serves over 200 students, ages 7 – 16, each of whom receive free instruments and lessons, and who are committed to playing together as an orchestra.

For ¡Bienvenido Gustavo!, Dudamel will lead the EXPO Center Youth Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

¡Bienvenido Gustavo! culminates in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, led by Dudamel, featuring the Los Angeles Master Chorale joined by choruses from across Los Angeles, both professional and amateur, representing the great diversity of the city.

Renowned film composer John Williams chairs the all-star Artistic Advisory Panel, comprised of the inimitable Quincy Jones, Brazilian legend Sergio Mendes, and L.A. native Ben Harper, for this special day of events. The panel has been created to seek out L.A.’s professional and amateur musical groups of diverse genres to perform during the ¡Bienvenido Gustavo! free day of music.

Tickets for ¡Bienvenido Gustavo! are available Saturday, August 1, 2009, in person at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, online at HollywoodBowl.com, by phone at 323.850.2000, and through Ticketmaster. Admission is free. Service charges apply via all sales channels except in person at the Box Office.

For his Inaugural Gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of John Adams’ LA Phil-commissioned City Noir.

“As its title suggests, City Noir is a symphony inspired by the peculiar ambience and mood of Los Angeles ‘noir’ films, especially those produced in the late forties and early fifties,” says Adams. “My music is an homage not necessarily to the film music of that period but rather to the overall aesthetic of the era. This symphony becomes the third in a triptych of orchestral works that have as their theme the California experience, its landscape and its culture. The two previous are The Dharma at Big Sur (also commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic) and El Dorado (commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony).”

This historic gala concludes with Dudamel conducting Mahler’s First Symphony. The Inaugural Gala will be telecast internationally, throughout the United States (via PBS Great Performances), Europe, South America and Asia.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music – Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children’s programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience. Gustavo DudaMel Becomes the new Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with the beginning of the 2009/10 season.

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