Breaking: Dude goes to Uni

Breaking: Dude goes to Uni


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2018

Gustavo Dudamel has accepted a residency at Princeton University.

Like Einstein.

From the Princeton University Concerts press release, going out later:

Gustavo Dudamel will be Artist-in-Residence for the 2018-19 season, curating and participating in a series of concerts and events.
Additional highlights include genre-defying performances by Bobby McFerrin and Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano, and a new series featuring Abigail Washburn, banjo and Wu Fei, guzheng; Avi Avital, mandolin and Omer Avital, bass and Gabriel Kahane, piano. Princeton University Concerts continues to redefine the concert experience with its intimate, works focused Performances Up Closeseries
The heralded Concert Classics Series includes debuts by Steven Isserlis, cello; Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin; and Martin Fröst, clarinet, as well as the return of the Takács String Quartet with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, the Australian Chamber Orchestra with pianist Paul Lewis, the Ébène String Quartet, and more…

At the heart of the new season is the series of concerts and events centered around PUC’s first Artist-in-Residence, conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The Maestro, currently the Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will visit the Princeton campus three times throughout the 2018-19 season. In his first extended University residency, Maestro Dudamel will curate a series of three chamber concerts that feature ensembles from the orchestras with which he is most closely associated – the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Each concert will explore music’s relationship to the world around us through a different lens. Three themes – Art & the Americas, Art & Faith, and Art & Nature – will be discussed in depth following each concert by prominent thinkers from a range of disciplines, with Maestro Dudamel as host. In addition to the curated concerts, Maestro Dudamel will conduct the Princeton University Orchestra and Glee Club in two programs. One will feature video projections by Venezuelan film director Alberto Arvelo.


  • Doug says:

    …and a new series featuring Abigail Washburn, banjo…Princeton University Concerts continues to redefine the concert experience with its intimate, works focused Performances Up Closeseries…

    How about shallow, trendy and boring-eries?


      Are you sure you are not looking at glass half empty? The series also includes some uncool, untrendy, decidedly classical artists as Steven Isserlis, Paul Lewis, Marc-André Hamelin, and the Takács String Quartet.

  • V.Lind says:

    What exactly is the point of the remark “going out later” after introducing the press release? A sly implication that “my spize are everywhere”?

  • The View from America says:

    Oh, joy …

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    It was not much better in the days of Milton Babbit, who at least did not care if you (we) listen.

  • Hermann Lederer says:

    “Gustavo Dudamel has accepted a residency at Princeton University.Like Einstein.”
    Although it is only End of March this already the Joke of the year. Unbeatable!

  • collin says:

    1) Einstein was never a member of Princeton University.

    Einstein was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, which is located in the town of Princeton, just like Princeton University is located in the town of Princeton, and the confusion arises because people called it the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, but “at Princeton” means at the town of, not at the university of.

    2) Princeton (the university), is not unique among American universities in holding prominent concert series that attracts big names. The University of Michigan comes to mind, which also invites the Berlin Philharmonic.

    3) Why the Berlin Philharmonic would travel to Michigan boggles the mind. Why the Berlin Phil would travel to Princeton makes more sense, because Princeton is only about an hour away from New York City, so as long as you’re playing Carnegie Hall, you might as well play Princeton.

    4) That the Berliners are willing to travel to Michigan speaks to the declining venues and audiences in major American cities, and the rising clout of American university campuses.

    To concluse, Dudamel may well be a genius just like Einstein, but not because of Princeton the University.

    • Patrick says:

      The Berliners rather like Ann Arbor. Perhap you would, too.

    • MacroV says:

      What’s the problem with Ann Arbor? Never been, but Hill Auditorium is a renowned venue and Ann Arbor is home, of course, to the great University of Michigan. You don’t think they can fill the hall with people who would appreciate the great BPO? I’m sure there are plenty of U.S. venues that would welcome the BPO, but they can’t go everywhere.

      • MWnyc says:

        Collin also may not know that Ann Arbor is within easy driving distance of Detroit – and while the city of Detroit may be poor and troubled, its suburbs are still very prosperous.

    • Chipper says:

      Apparently it comes as a surprise to some people that we have indoor plumbing here in Ann Arbor — much less that the city is home to a world-class arts presenting organization (the University Musical Society). Unfortunately, I wasn’t around when Caruso sang at Hill Auditorium in 1918, but many other great artists have deigned to come here since then. A highly abbreviated list of artists whose performances I’ve attended here over the years includes: Itzhak Perlman; Evgeny Kissin; Murray Perahia; the Vienna Phil conducted by Leonard Bernstein; the NY Phil; Joan Sutherland; Vladimir Horowitz; Garrick Ohlsson; Alisa Weilerstein; Daniil Trifonov; Frederica Von Stade; Stephanie Blythe; Joyce DiDonato with the English Concert conducted by Harry Bicket; and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Not only did these artists survive the experience of performing here, but many of them have even returned multiple times.

      • will says:

        ‘Hill Auditorium’ has a lousy acoustic; it has the dreaded ‘flutter echo’ like London’s Royal Albert Hall used to be before the flying saucers were installed.

  • Dan P. says:

    What some may not know or understand is this:

    (1) Princeton University has had a concert division and has sponsored concerts by major soloists, string quartets, and orchestras throughout at least the 20th century.

    (2) It used to be a regular stopping off point for the Philadelphia Orchestra when they travelled to or from NYC by train (it’s on the same train line). And I’ve seen top performers there from Claudia Arrau to The English Concert to even Anna Russell perform there.

    (3) Princeton University had TWO first rate Concert Halls – Richardson Auditorium and McCarter Theater. The acoustics in both are very good. I’ve performed in Richardson Hall and have been in the audience of both many times

    (4) Princeton’s concerts are designed not only to serve the university community but also the entire township. And the township consists of a large percentage of people who care about music. The university subscription concerts regularly get packed houses. They even advertise in NYC, since it’s only an hour from the city. And, both facilities face public streets and are not buried away inside the campus. They are both great places to perform.

    (5) And one last note about Milton Babbitt. He actually never titled anything he wrote “Who Cares if you Listen” or even held that position. I knew him very well and I can attest personally that he very much cared if you listened. The title was created by the editors of High Fidelity Magazine in which the 1958 article was published. Babbitt’s suggested title was “The Composer as Specialist.” And it had to do with the issue of serious music and populism.