Gustavo Dudamel lived up to all the hype last Friday, when he conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the first time since Esa-Pekka Salonen announced that the 27-year old maestro would be replacing him as the orchestra's music director in 2009. Dudamel paid homage to Salonen by opening with one of the Finn's scores. But the night had Dudamel written all over it, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Venezulean virtuoso injected the performance with his signature "get-up-and-go spirit." Still, Dudamel didn't hog the limelight, sitting on the podium to listen to the pianist Simon Trpceski's Debussy encore. He's still just getting used to his new colleagues: He played second violin in a chamber-music performance with the orchestra last week to loosen things up. (Read more Gustavo Dudamel stories.)