The dynamic Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, led by Gustavo Dudamel, opens Carnegie Hall's 2016-17 season with a program featuring Ravel's La Valse, Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps, and a selection of dances from around the world.
Internationally renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel currently serves as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV). The members of this orchestra have been trained under Venezuela's unique system of music education: El Sistema's orchestral academic program. This program takes children from barrios of Caracas to the world's finest concert halls, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands.
The gala evening opens with Maurice Ravel's La Valse. Commissioned by impresario Sergei Diaghilev, this whirling dance of death is a glorification of the Viennese waltz and, in Ravel's own words, a "fantastic and fatefully inescapable whirlpool." It is like a Viennese waltz heard in a dream, one that gradually becomes a nightmare. The concert continues with Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps. Also commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev, it was described by Claude Debussy as "primitive with every modern convenience." Stravinsky's partisans viewed it as nothing less than a new art form. The composer claimed, "I was guided by no system whatsoever... I had only my ear to help me; I heard and I wrote what I heard." After performing these two masterpieces, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel end the concert with a selection of dances from around the world.
Photo: © Nohely Oliveros
Discover Gustavo Dudamel's album, Pictures at an exhibition, released on the Deutsche Grammophon label: