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Venezuelan conductor gives lessons in geography


dudamelOn his first day as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic,  Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel gave a lesson in geography, namely what constitutes America.

A reporter asked the 28-year-old classical music sensation what he had on  his iPod, to which Dudamel answered that he loved Latin music and was listening to the likes of Venezuelan salsa star Oscar D’Leon and Dominican crooner Juan Luis Guerra.

And then the reporter said: “You are in America now, what Americans?” Dudamel didn’t miss a beat and shot back ”I am talking about Americans!” — to which the room packed with journalists erupted in laughter and clapping.

That Latin America is indeed part of America is something that Dudamel brings up often, but always with good humor and patience.  At his news conference he reiterated that America is one — Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, the United States, all included. That message is likely to resound in Los Angeles, a city that is half Hispanic and home to millions who migrated from southern portions of the Americas.