Venezuela isolates Dudamel

Venezuela isolates Dudamel


norman lebrecht

August 22, 2017

The Maduro regime has cancelled Gustavo Dudamel’s September concerts in four US cities with the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, upping the pressure on the conductor to toe its political line.

The Venezuelan president issues a personal attack on the conductor at the weekend.

It seems Dudamel is now classed as a semi-dissident.


UPDATE: Dudamel tweeted: ‘Heart-breaking cancellation of our 4-city NYOV US tour. My dream to play with these wonderful young musicians cannot come true this time. We will continue to play and to fight for a better Venezuela and a better world.’

The LA Phil has announced a replacement programme for the cancelled NYOV visit.

UPDATE: The shocking silence of El Sistema


press release:

The performance of the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, scheduled for September 17 at the Hollywood Bowl, has been cancelled. The original program of Café Tacvba, La Santa Cecilia and Mon Laferte is still confirmed. The event will feature a celebration of Latin communities, and will kick off Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, an initiative of the Getty with arts institutions across Southern California.  


    • Mike Schachter says:

      I suspect many of the middle-class poseurs boycotting Trump would prefer a Venezuelan type of regime.

      • Minutewaltz says:

        In the U.K. we may be getting a Venezuela type regime in the near future and no doubt any orchestra or opera house who dares to criticise Corbyn will get their funding cut pretty damn quick.

        • Una says:

          Oh, come on, you can’t compare Corbyn to Venezuela -.such an exaggeration andvultra-dramatic. Even the Torries find Corbyn a decent guy as a person. Many have openly said so!

      • MacroV says:

        That’s beyond idiotic; where do you get this stuff? We prefer transparency and democracy, and a president who isn’t a national embarrassment. I mean we Americans, but the Venezuelans deserve it, too.

        • Bruce says:

          Oh don’t be silly. You’re clearly the fascist in this conversation, so don’t try to defend your side; let them tell you what you want.

  • Carlos says:

    Maduro only fears that the whole orchestra will not go back to Venezuela and will tell all people about the horrible situation in its home country.

  • herrera says:

    “Dudamel is now classed as a semi-dissident”

    Can one really be a “dissident” (even a “semi” one) if one is not residing in the country he is criticizing?

    Dudamel can say and do whatever he wants against Venezuela in total safely 6000 kms away in the United States, without fear of assassination, arrest, being beaten up, being stripped of his job.

    Dudamel’s career, income, fame, fortune are assured in Los Angeles, in Berlin, in Vienna. If he never led the Simon Bolivar Orchestra ever again, he’d still have the the Berliner and Wiener Philharmonikas at his command.

    Dudamel is no dissident unless he marches against Maduro on the streets of Caracas. Until then, he’s just another gringo commentator.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Now you are to somewhat unfair. Certain opposition politicians, the former attorney general, and Dudamel would be ’high profile targets’ if they protest in the streets in Caracas.

      • Halldor says:

        Nice bit of racism in Herrera’s last sentence there. Always helps an argument, to end with a bit of gratuitous racist abuse.

        • herrera says:

          “Gringo” = “a foreigner in Spain or Latin America especially when of English or American origin”

          Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

          So instead of writing:
          Until then, he’s just another “gringo” commentator.

          I could write:
          Until then, he’s just another “foreigner in Latin America of American origin” commentator.

        • Una says:


    • Ungeheuer says:

      Pity the Berlin and Vienna for inviting this sham to open-scare-quote conduct close-scare-quote them.

    • Mark Henriksen says:

      There were quite a few posters awhile back that criticized the Dude for not speaking out about the Venezuelan leadership. You were likely one of them. Now that he has, you are still criticizing him.

  • Anon says:

    How does that isolate Dudamel? He is safe and prosperous outside of Venezuela.

    It isolates the musicians of the El Sistema Youth Orchestra first of all.
    They are the ones who pay the biggest price here.

  • Augustine says:

    Dudamel _had_ to have seen this coming. The ball is in his court now.

  • Patrick Gillot says:

    Dudamel is lucky that he is not associated with a Marxist Leninist Criminal.

  • MacroV says:

    Dudamel has endured his share of criticism on this site for not putting some distance between himself and the Maduro regime. Now he has. It’s not fair to criticize him now as an armchair dissident.

    • John says:

      Agree. The shrieking hypocrisy of some in this string is remarkable.

    • Una Barry says:

      Well spoken. Singers get the same treatment by so-called experts who are armchair singers, know everything about singing and, like a bad musicologist, don’t sing or play a note except possibly in the bath. They do the profession – and Dudamel – a gross disservice and then hide behind anonymous or whacky names! Dudamel has done something unique for kids otherwise on the scarp heap.

    • herrera says:

      However laudable Dudamel’s recent comments are, by elevating him to the status of “dissident” does injustice to true dissidents in Venezuela (or anywhere else in the world) languishing under house arrest or in jail.

      The guy wrote one op-ed piece in the NYT.

      I wrote a comment against Kim Jong Il in the NYT, would you call me a North Korean Dissident?

  • Bruce says:

    I guess a more accurate headline would be “Venezuela Isolates Themselves From Dudamel.”

    His isolation is not increased as a result of this action; theirs is.

  • Jesus acosta says:

    Sorry for my country. Dudamel and our young musicians we don’t deserved that