Gustavo Dudamel, “The Obama of Classical Music,” injured himself in Los Angeles last night while leading that city’s Philharmonic (where he’s musical director) in the last movement of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto. An ordinarily energetic and physically expressive maestro, he pulled a muscle in his neck during a conductorial lunge.
“Gustavo Dudamel is an athletic conductor,” Mark Swed writes at Culture Monster, “and athletes get hurt.”
Dudamel said he lost feeling on one side of his body, but still insisted on going back out after intermission to helm Tchaikovsky’s Sixth. (Yeah! Back in the old days, you got hurt in the middle of a game, you played through to the ninth inning!) Philharmonic brass wouldn’t let him, though, taking him to the hospital instead, where his pulled muscle was diagnosed.
No word yet on whether Dudamel will appear at an encore performance of the program this morning. (It’s still early in California.)
By the way, if NYC is so much better than LA, how come they have such a cooler classical music ambassador? I love Alan Gilbert musically, but compared to a fiery, 28-year-old Venezuelan, his persona‘s as exciting as a box factory. (Hey, Friday! Fun links!)