Gustavo Dudamel Opens Carnegie Hall Season With 'The Rite Of Spring' The charismatic conductor first heard Stravinsky's rambunctious music when he was just 8. Watch him lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela live on Thursday night.

Gustavo Dudamel: Ravel, Stravinsky, dances from around the world on medici.tv.

Carnegie Hall Live

Gustavo Dudamel Opens Carnegie Hall Season With 'The Rite Of Spring' WQXR radio

"I think that the Rite is a symbol of the beginning of life," conductor Gustavo Dudamel told NPR in 2012, speaking about Igor Stravinsky's rambunctious Rite of Spring. "It's still so modern," he said. "For me, that's the secret of the piece."

Dudamel conducts the milestone composition with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela to open Carnegie Hall's new season. They'll also perform Maurice Ravel's La Valse and a handful of dances from around the world.

You can watch the concert live on this page beginning at 7 p.m. ET as a part of the series Carnegie Hall Live, a collaboration with member station WQXR and Medici.tv.

Dudamel can trace his connections with Stravinsky's groundbreaking music back many years. He first heard the Rite in concert at age 8, when his father played in a symphony orchestra. It shocked him then, and he says the music still packs a big punch.

"Of course, you have these crazy moments of wild dynamics, but at the same time you feel that the rhythms and the melodies are so natural," he says. "You discover, 'Oh look, this is a very traditional harmony,' but then you see the details — and then every time it's different."

The rhythms in La Valse pay colorful homage to the genteel Viennese dance in three-quarter time. Yet viewed through Ravel's lens, and written in the wake of World War I, the music grows dark and bloated, staggering to keep upright, finally imploding. It's the kind of symphonic showpiece Dudamel relishes, no matter which orchestra he's leading.

As a teenager, Dudamel conducted the very orchestra he leads at this Carnegie Hall concert. He started as a violinist in the youth orchestra in his hometown of Barquisimento, Venezuela, and took up the baton one day when the conductor was sick. Little Gustavo was just 12. Today, he leads the world's most prestigious orchestras and starts his seventh season as the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Program:

  • Ravel: La Valse
  • Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
  • Various: Dances from around the world

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel, cond.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Classical

Dancers in "Stalactites," a video by Mark DeChiazza, based on Orpheus Unsung, a theater work composed by Steven Mackey, with Jason Treuting. Mark DeChiazza hide caption

toggle caption Mark DeChiazza

Orpheus Reborn With Dancers, Drums And Electric Guitar

A new video, featuring a score by Steven Mackey with Jason Treuting, retells the ancient tale of love, loss and the power of music.

Devonté Hynes and Philip Glass met in Hynes' Chinatown loft for a conversation on a rainy spring day. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

'When You Gonna Get A Real Job?': Philip Glass And Devonté Hynes Compare Notes

Watch the two musicians, nearly 50 years apart in age, talk about the pains of striking out on your own, the pulse of New York, and the role of the artist today. Plus about a hundred other ideas.

Penguin Cafe performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 2, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Penguin Cafe

Penguin Cafe folds in sounds from around the world and throughout music history — Africa, Kraftwerk, Brazil and Franz Schubert.

Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir revised her piece Aura especially for The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. David Holechek hide caption

toggle caption David Holechek

Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Volcanic Transmissions

As members of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet bow their vibraphones, brush their gongs and message their bass drums, the composer's evocative music oozes from blackness.

Ludovico Einaudi, performing live for KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW

Ludovico Einaudi, 'Petricor' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the pianist and composer, joined by a full band, in a stunning live performance for KCRW.

Opera singer Joyce DiDonato created this video to go with her new album, In War and Peace: Harmony through Music. Warner Classics hide caption

toggle caption Warner Classics

In Chaotic Times, A Singer's Plea For Freedom

Opera star Joyce DiDonato does more than sing — she lends her voice to social causes. Watch her new video, a haunting depiction of a woman trapped in conflict.

Genard Ptah Blair dances to Carolina Eyck's music in a magical video directed by Sonia Malfa. Sonia Malfa hide caption

toggle caption Sonia Malfa

Get Lost In Carolina Eyck's Ethereal Garden

A magical landscape, the sounds of a slithery theremin and one elastic dancer offer an oasis of tranquility in a hectic world.

A still from Maya Beiser's "Air" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

First Watch: Maya Beiser, 'Air'

In a new video, the cellist plays with time and memory, turning back the clock to when she first heard J.S. Bach's music on a scratchy old LP. It remains, she says, a timeless lodestar for her art.

Yuja Wang played a demanding program at Carnegie Hall, topped by four encores. Ebru Yildiz/for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ebru Yildiz/for NPR

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Hear one of today's most charismatic pianists perform music with deep psychological — and physical — dimensions by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

Audio is no longer available
Back To Top