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Gustavo 'The Dude' Dudamel And The L.A. Phil Make Live Concertos Hip By Silver-Screening Them Across U.S. And Canada

Last fall, LA Weekly wrote about the youth-ification of the Philharmonic by the Venezuelan boy wonder. Top suits at the Phil contracted Dudamel for his kinetic approach to leading the orchestra, which they hoped might inspire a new generation to fall in love with classical music.

Dudamel is sex at the symphony -- fresh, wild and too active for anyone to focus instead on their text-versation. L.A. Phil publicist Lisa White said that though she has no record of it, she personally noticed more young people coming to see the Philharmonic once Dudamel took the stand.

So now the next step into the digital age: L.A. Phil concerts will be screened live three times in 2011 at 450-plus movie theaters across the U.S. and Canada -- with over 50 in California and three in L.A. proper.

(Other media outlets are applying the verb "simulcast," but White emphasizes that the concerts will not be broadcast on TV or radio, which simulcasting would imply.)

The screenings will cost $20 to $30 -- cheaper than a seat at the Hollywood Bowl or Walt Disney Concert Hall, but still a little steep for your average theater-crasher. (If they really want us to love classical, they should try the magic word: "Free.") Still, it's the same price as a live nosebleed, with more up-close sweaty forehead shots and the option of making out to Brahms without a sea of death glares from the geriatric section.

Here's the lineup (all three shows are on a Sunday at 2 p.m. Pacific):

  • Jan. 9: John Adams's Slonimsky's Earbox, Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 ("Jeremiah") and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.
  • March 13: An all-Tchaikovsky program with performances by actors reading from related Shakespeare texts.
  • June 5: An all-Brahms program with brothers Renaud and Gautier Capuçon performing the Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra in A Mino

What do you think: Are kids more likely to care about Tchaikovsky if he's at the local cineplex? Or will Dudamel get trampled at the box office by 2011's Justin Bieber: Never Say Never? (Coming too soon to a theater near you!)

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