The music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra is taking a night off during run of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary in order to direct the musical proceedings at the funeral of the Venezuelan president. Here is what he has just told the orchestra:
My dear friends,
As you can imagine this is a very difficult time in my country, where our president has just died. On Friday, with the country in mourning, a state funeral has been organized, and I have been asked to return to Caracas to be a part of the ceremony. As the music director of El Sistema and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, both important symbols of Venezuelan culture, I simply must return.
Tonight, together we will premiere John’s extraordinary work. And I will return in time to conduct the Sunday performance as well, but on Friday, I have asked our dear friend Grant Gershon to lead the performance. I am deeply grateful to him and to you for your understanding in this unique situation.
And here’s a video update on his activities at the funeral.