“They drew the line at the bobble-head doll,” writes Daniel J. Wakin in Friday’s (11/13) New York Times. “But the Los Angeles Philharmonic shop offers plenty of mugs and T-shirts splashed with the arms-outstretched image of its new maestro, Gustavo Dudamel. … In a case of Hollywood-meets-Haydn, the star factory is busy at work on a rare subject: a 28-year-old Venezuelan conductor whose life revolves around scores, not scripts. With only a handful of concerts here behind him, Mr. Dudamel is more or less making this town swoon. ‘He’s a genuine star,’ said Martin Kaplan, a former movie executive and a professor at the University of Southern California. ‘He’s young. He has amazing hair. He has a great back story. He has a fantastic name. He’s the dude!’ Mr. Dudamel has just finished his first month as the orchestra’s music director after a five-year rise that brought him unusual attention in the classical music world. … [Philharmonic President and CEO] ‘Deborah Borda’s rollout of Dudamel was as savvy as any studio mogul marketing a tent-pole movie,’ said Mr. Kaplan, the director of the university’s Norman Lear Center, which looks at the impact of media and entertainment on society.”

Posted November 13, 2009