Los Angeles Philharmonic Director Scores His First Movie Soundtrack

By Lowman, Rob | Pasadena Star-News, July 27, 2014 | Go to article overview

Los Angeles Philharmonic Director Scores His First Movie Soundtrack


Lowman, Rob, Pasadena Star-News


Music is like a kiss, Gustavo Dudamel tells you, but watching him in action reminds you it also requires work.

It's around noon Saturday A blazing sun pours down on the 18,000 empty seats at the Hollywood Bowl. Onstage, though, the Los Angeles Philharmonic's conductor is leading a vigorous rehearsal for Sunday's performance of "Pagliacci." The orchestra members and singers - all in casual dress - may be shaded by the venue's famed shell, but there is no denying the heat or the intensity of the famed Italian opera about a murderous clown.

Throughout the rehearsal Dudamel is pure concentration. He points to the horns when it's time to come in, then over to a bass drum that has been wheeled on stage for a brief thunderous moment. Periodically, he glances over his shoulder as the tenors and sopranos hit their cues. Yet when he stops them to replay a passage, he sounds relaxed. He may be impassioned, but he's surprisingly laid back for a conductor.

Dudamel starts his sixth season as the Phil's musical director on September 30. So it's hard to believe that he is only 33. Considering the pressures of the job, somehow he looks even younger. In Southern California, his name and classical music have become synonymous, while his creation of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) has brought music to underserved children throughout the community.

Though a world celebrity, this Thursday at the Bowl, he will show off a side of himself that is associated with Hollywood when he leads the Philharmonic in a suite taken from his first movie score. At the moment, the conductor thinks of himself as something of an accidental composer, who relishes the advice he received from John Williams, considered by many the greatest film composer of all time.

As we sit backstage after rehearsal, Dudamel cools off with a bottle of water. He is wearing a black polo shirt, jeans and what look to be blue suede shoes. (The conductor, after all, is something of a rock star in the classical world.).

With a monstrous schedule that includes commitments to three major orchestras, Dudamel had intended to be only a musical adviser on "The Liberator" ("Libertador"), which is about Simon Bolivar, the man who led the campaign to free northern South America from Spanish rule in the early 1800s. The film, being released in the fall, is directed by Alberto Arvelo and stars Edgar Ramirez as a dashing version of the general. Both are fellow Venezuelans and longtime friends of the conductor.

When Arvelo described the movie to him, "I tried to imagine musically what he was telling me," says Dudamel. He first suggested different pieces of music for the director to listen to, but somewhere in his head he kept putting his own soundtrack to the images.

Then about three years ago he had cleared his conducting schedule when his wife, Eliosa, gave birth to their son, Martin. "I was staying home taking care of the two of them, and I started to play some things on the piano with the script only." The next thing he knew Arvelo, who had directed a short documentary about Dudamel, told him he was writing the score.

"It's really crazy. It wasn't a natural way. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Los Angeles Philharmonic Director Scores His First Movie Soundtrack
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.