Glimpsing the future of classical music; five-year-old conducts 'Rite of Spring'
Thanks to Brian Sacawa (of Mobtown Modern fame and, darn it, fresh competition as a provocative blogger in Baltimore) for alerting me to this recent YouTube clip of a five-year-old conducting a recording of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."
I have vague, humiliating memories of doing something like this kid when I was his age, but the records I pretended to conduct contained Ravel's "Bolero" and Tchaikovsky's "Marche Slave" -- much easier in the rhythm department. Oddly enough, they're still two of my favorite pieces, which reminds me: how come no one ever puts that Tchaikovsky rouser on a concert program? It beats "1812 Overture" for quality any day, and you even get to hear the one of the same tunes.
Ah, but I digress. Back to this wunderkind. He's really cool, very into the drama and sound of the "Rite of Spring," and impressively alert to cueing. (UPDATE: The budding conductor is the son of Larry Loh, associate conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; it obviously runs in the family.) Maybe this is how Gustavo Dudamel started. With all the doom and gloom about classical music in some corners, this little demomstration of how young ears can be excited by and connected to this venerable art form has got to give you at least a teeny bit of hope for the future. It's also just a lot of fun, especially the finale: