The Dude Arrives

Last March at Disney Concert Hall I considered it a once-in-my-lifetime event to hear my favorite symphony, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Italian” played live. After all, I’d been waiting for that since I was 12.


Last night at the Hollywood Bowl, in attendance with my wife and mother among 18,000 others in the capacity crowd, under a full moon and a smattering of bats flittering about the dusky skies, I truly was privileged to witness a Once-In-A-Lifetime event — nothing less than a defining and historical milestone in the cultural landscape of this city. Not only was I there for the much-anticipated debut as Gustavo Dudamel officially lifted his baton for the first time as the L.A. Philharmonic’s musical director, but I exulted in an uncompromised presentation of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony the likes of which I’m pretty sure I’ll never see again — nor ever expected to.

In front of a full orchestra and a chorus some 200-strong behind it Dudamel transported me and I marveled in the Ode To Joy finale as it reinvigorated my creative spirit in reminding me of the pure power and prestige of  music and the arts.

Pure and simple: It was superb and glorious.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."