Conductor celebrated at inaugural gala

Gustavo Dudamel‘s debut as the new music director at the L.A. Phil drew a 10-minute ovation from the crowd at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Thursday.

At the after-party, L.A. Phil board prexy Deborah Borda welcomed the guests, who had traveled from all over the globe to be at the conductor’s inaugural gala.

“There are 50 people from Venezuela,” she said, referring to the conductor’s home. “People from Venezuela know how to party.”

Dudamel said in English, “What can I say, music speaks tonight,” and then switched to Spanish, leaving many guests a bit puzzled.

But he and his wife, Eloisa Maturen, clearly knew how to party as they danced to the small band playing in the space set in a closed-off portion of Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles for guests such as Howard Stringer, Quincy Jones, Garry Marshall, Michael Eisner, John Williams, Tom Hanks with Rita Wilson, Sophia Bush and Dana Delaney.

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