Our dear Dudi, Maestro Gustavo Dudamel for the public at large (the second-coolest member of the Dudamel family after Eloisa), not only conquers NYC with "a bang", but also managed to charm (aka "scam") the NYPhil archivist to let him use one of Bernstein's batons.
The usual killjoys will all go, "blah blah he's not as good as Lenny blah blah just a kid blah small repertoire blah untested blah Salonen's scholarship is much deeper blah blah blah", and yes for all his mad skillZ his Don Giovanni at la Scala wasn't the best DG we've ever heard (but then this is an insane metric for any conductor, which opera or symphony piece conducted by Lenny that was not also written by him is the best performance in existence of that piece? We say maybe none, and nobody's a greater fan of Lenny's than Opera Chic who worships him the way Catholics worship their saints).
So if Dudamel is not "the future of classical music" -- a splendidly dumb title that would not have fitted even Lenny's monster strong shoulders -- he's totally one of the few people that have the passion and the fire and, yes, the love that can make this old art form cool and relevant again in a world that could easily do without it.
Oh, and and more often than not whenever he's conducting and we're
there, Dudi and OC -- he on the podium OC in some palco -- are the
youngest people in the house. Unless you want opera houses and symphony halls to shut down in two or three decades, when most of the current audience will be either dead of old age or getting there, then you'd better get ready for Dudi -- and maybe, just maybe, he'll show you his baton.