Rattle abandones Berlín.

Today -13/01/2013- Rattle turns 58 and instead of the «Happy Birthday», an ever-so-upset Berlin city sings a good-by-song to him. For the last decade he has been leading the Berlin Philharmonic, and he could have conducted the most precise machine of clasical music for another decade if it was not for the fact that time «does go by». The British Musical Director Simon Rattle has openly announced, on his birth day, that he will no longer continue his work with the Berlin Philharmonic from 2018 on and stated the reason for his decision is his own age. By that time, Rattle will be 64.  His limpid music inheritance will remain in the Philharmonic, but the masters of Von Karajan Street, after washing away a couple of well justified tears, have already started the subtle task of finding his new leader.
The first name being heard among the possible candidates belongs to the Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel. One of Rattle´s aims not willing to renew his contract is to give way to new generations, and Dudamel fits perfectly within this goal, considering his presence in the Philharmonic has become more and more usual hand in hand of his mentor, Rattle. Dudamel is considered one of the outstanding figures representing the youth who is revitalising the most clasical and prestigious orchestras around the world and will be ending his own contract with Los Angeles Philharmonic, precisely, in 2018. Seems like the pieces for the puzzle fit perfectly.
However, if Berlin´s Philharmonic finally goes for Gustavo Dudamel this would be seen as a total overlook regarding certain political criteria and could end up turning the most advanced of the Philharmonics into an «out-of-tune» one. Actually, this week Dudamel has conducted the Simón Bolívar Symphonic Orchestra in Caracas during a concert performed as a support to the president Hugo Chavez, which has taken place in the Ríos Reyna Hall in the Teresa Carreño Theatre. The first notes to sound belonged to the Venezuelan National Anthem which was played before several Caribean and Latin American representatives who, hours before the concert, took part into a «Chavist» demonstration in the surroundings of the Miraflores Palace, right before being honoured with Beethoben´s 9th Symphony in minor Re, op. 125. Propaganda delivering does not really fit with the Berlin Philharmonic neat principles and, moreover, political and social trend and oppinion of the Musical Directors are, in deed, relevant in Germany´s capital city. Rattle is an actual example of this, revitalising the Orchestra as he has with creations like «Rhythm is it!», a movie dedicated to all the musical talents around the world. Another example is the Baremboim´s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra touring around the world. Both these initiatives have counted on the entire support and agreement of the Berlin comunity. We can not say the same about the support to Chavez displayed by Dudamel though.

Rosalía Sánchez