The Los Angeles Philharmonic music director is frequently under pressure over his perceived alignment with the radical regime in his native Venezuela.
In an article for the Los Angeles Times today (click here), he declares both his patriotism and his political neutrality: As a Venezuelan and a public person, I often end up in the center of such political theater. Because I have been reluctant to speak out on events in my home country, I have been much criticized. Many have tried to define me and my political beliefs, or to tell me what I ought to believe. Now I wish to speak for myself.
I am neither a politician nor an activist. Although I am aware that even something as benign as conducting an orchestra may have deep political ramifications, I will not publicly take a political position or align myself with one point of view or one party in Venezuela or in the United States.
Venezuelan media, meanwhile, have made great play of a picture of Dudamel conducting the Bolivar Youth Orchestra at the United Nations this week, overshadowed by a huge portrait of the country’s former president, Hugo Chavez.