I was tipped off last month to this video by @foxonthedocks, a Londoner on Twitter who tweets “about classical music recordings, broadcasts and performance. And other stuff.” It’s a video on TED.com, a site that I’ve heard about but successfully avoided till now. Foxonthedocks actually posted a link to the video the day of my wedding, February 22nd, but I just got around to watching it today. The video is a performance by the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. The site explains that the orchestra “is the national high school age youth orchestra of El Sistema, Venezuela’s groundbreaking, life-changing musical education program. To put this ensemble’s musicianship in context, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela is the next step for many of these young musicians. That orchestra, containing musicians from 18 to 28 years old, has toured the world with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and has made a number of recordings on Deutsche Grammophon. The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra is the next level below, and will succeed the Simón Bolívar.” The T.C.Y.O. is conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, a hotshot young conductor (himself a product of El Sistema) who was named recently as Esa-Pekka Salonen’s successor as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Although his name is not quite as cool as Esa-Pekka’s (come on, though, how could it be?), he does have the hair to be a great conductor, and even though he’s only 28 he’s probably the world’s hottest conductor right now.

In the video Dudamel conducts the T.C.Y.O. in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2, with a brief speech in between. The video is 17 minutes long in its entirety, but the Shostakovich is contained within the first five minutes if you don’t have that much time.

If he can make a group of high school students, even one as great as this, sound this good, what do you think he could do with the LA Phil?



  1. Gravatar

    Rauta Tanwënya on 03.18.2009

    Wow… I wish my high school was half that together musically. I must say… he looks a little insane, which, I suppose is also good for famous conductor position. I guess we weren’t that good because even if we had a conductor that good, we wouldn’t be able to hold back the laughter now and then (regarding the slightly insane expressions of the conductor!)

  2. Gravatar

    Rauta Tanwënya on 03.18.2009

    (it is a friendly looking crazy… which is much better than tyrant crazy.)

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