by Whet Moser
* A tiny part of the Sun-Times's reinvention has been making classical music criticism more prominent, at least on the homepage. (Big thumbs up.) Yesterday they reported that next-big-thing Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, a 26-year-old whose recent stint guest-conducting Mahler at the CSO had people going gonzo, was just swiped by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
* Good lord, he's my age. I was prepared for baseball stars to be my age or younger, but not conductors of major symphony orchestras.
* In other prominent-South-American-classical-musician news, Chicago a Cappela presents the Chicago premiere of "Coral del Arrecife" by CSO composer in residence Osvaldo Golijov.
* Golijov is also curating a program, coming up in a couple weeks, of Argentinian, Hungarian, and Indian music for the orchestra. In April, it's presenting his song cycle Ayre, performed by the singer who's emerged as his muse, Dawn Upshaw.
* The S-T also notes that the Chicago Chamber Musicians, a 20-year-old ensemble that scored its first Grammy nomination this year, have a new, nationally-syndicated radio show that airs locally on WFMT, Wednesdays at 8 PM.
* Time Out Chicago's classical critic, Marc Geelhoed, has a great blog called Deceptively Simple. His post on Gene Weingarten's Washington Post article that's been bouncing around the Internet for days, in which Weingarten got hotshot violinist Joshua Bell to play in the Metro to the total apathy of commuters, gets to the heart of the matter--no one recognized Bell's talent because no one's taught to listen to classical anymore.