If you are in your mid-sixties, you probably remember the New York Philharmonic's Young People's Concerts on the radio and later on Saturday mornings on CBS television. (Yes my younger readers, you read correctly, there was classical music for kids on Saturday morning television.) By the time the program made the move to video, it was under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, already well-known by musicians and audiences as an extraordinary teacher.
Both Bernstein and the televised concerts may be long gone, but there is a new face that is already reshaping classical music education and exposure in southern California. His name is Gustavo Dudamel, the new -2009- Musical Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. At thirty years old, he brings youth, energy, innovation, and example to a field many young people ignore. As an engaging, entertaining, and humorous host so comfortable with his orchestra and his audience, Dudamel has all the potential to become our next classical music icon in the Bernstein tradition.
Here are two short videos, out of many on YouTube, of Dudamel in action.