By CLASSICAL VOICE
Thursday, January 28, 2016
It's official! For the first time ever, a symphony orchestra will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show and it's the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) conducted by L.A. Phil's Gustavo Dudamel. No word yet on what they will play at Super Bowl 50 on February 7 but they will share the stage with Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. In the past, the Super Bowl halftime shows mainly featured university marching bands and drill teams, never classical musicians.
The Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show will echo elements of the NFL's On the Fifty campaign – honoring the past, recognizing the present and looking ahead to the next 50 years. In a prepared statement, Gustavo Dudamel said, “This is a wonderful honor and an extraordinary showcase for YOLA, as well as a tribute to youth orchestras worldwide. When we play, it will be for the youth of the world so they can be inspired to create both a better life for themselves and a better future.”
Dudamel will be joined on the stage by students from the program’s YOLA at EXPO site in South L.A., a partnership of the LA Phil, Harmony Project, and the EXPO Center (a Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility).
Gustavo Dudamel is defined by his untiring advocacy for access to music for all. Through YOLA, conceived by Dudamel and inspired by Venezuela’s pioneering El Sistema, the LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to more than 700 students from underserved neighborhoods, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change.
In addition to his orchestral duties, Dudamel conducted the opening and closing credit scores for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Dudamel was also on a recent episode of Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle".