New York Philharmonic (Sept. 16);
Los Angeles Philharmonic (Oct. 8)
Two of the nation's most prestigious podiums will be taken over this fall by an orchestra brat and a salsa dude. On Sept. 16, Alan Gilbert, 42, steps in as music director of the New York Philharmonic, an ensemble he grew up with (his parents were in the violin section). On Oct. 8, Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, 28, the son of a salsa trombonist, becomes chief conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In performance, Gilbert has laser-like focus and intensity; Dudamel ("the Dude") is a fiery whirligig. Both exude fresh ideas, a flair for contemporary music and hallelujah! an appeal to younger listeners.