In 2014, Gustavo Dudamel celebrated Shakespeare's 450th birthday with the Berliner Philharmoniker at Berlin’s Waldbühne.
El Sistema prodigy Gustavo Dudamel has become an international sensation. Current music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he is a leading personality on the classical music scene, and in 2014 the Berliner Philharmoniker invited him to conduct its annual summer concert, held annually in the beloved Waldbühne, an impressive outdoor amphitheatre. Together they performed works by Tchaikovsky and Brahms.
Dudamel conducted two Tchaikovsky works inspired by William Shakespeare: the symphonic fantasy The Tempest, and the Romeo and Juliet Overture. Tchaikovsky's two musical explorations of Shakespearean love were followed by Brahms' first symphony, a work the composer himself described: "Quite surprisingly, I would like to let you know that my symphony is long and not exactly lovable." Indeed, like many other symphonies by Brahms, his First was composed for his friends rather than for a larger audience who he thought would have difficulty understanding the work. Despite his fears, it has become one of Brahms most loved and performed orchestral works.
Picture: © Holger Kettner
Los Angeles Philharmonic