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Carnegie Hall Launches Season with Opening Night Gala Concert by Dudamel and SBSOV on October 6

Carnegie Hall opens its 2016-2017 season on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. with a gala concert featuring exquisite dance music performed by the dynamic Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. The program features Ravel's La valse and Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps as well as selected dances from around the world.

The performance also kicks off the sixth annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and streamed online at and Produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and hosted by WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon, select Carnegie Hall Live broadcasts feature live web chats, including Twitter commentary by the broadcast team, from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.

In addition, the concert will be webcast free of charge to a worldwide audience, thanks to Carnegie Hall's continued partnership with, making live video webcasts of select concerts available for the first time. The series, which began in fall 2014, showcases performances by some of the world's most celebrated artists. These webcasts have been enthusiastically received-reaching well over 3 million views over the past two years-with audience members originating from more than 180 countries and territories around the world. Following the live webcast, free replay of this concert will be available to online audiences on for another 90 days, playable worldwide on all internet-enabled devices, including smart phones, tablets, Chromecast, computers, and smart TVs.

Mercedes T. Bass and Hope and Robert F. Smith are the Opening Night Gala Lead Chairmen for the black tie event on October 6. The Gala Chairmen Committee includes Len and Emily Blavatnik, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Bruce and Suzie Kovner, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Annette de la Renta, Sana H. Sabbagh, Beatrice Santo Domingo, Margaret and Ian Smith, and Joan and Sanford I. Weill. PwC is the Opening Night Gala Lead Sponsor for the 13th consecutive season, and Dennis M. Nally, Retired Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., is the Corporate Chairman for the event.

The Gala benefits Carnegie Hall's artistic and education programs and includes either a pre-concert cocktail reception in Carnegie Hall's Rohatyn Room or dinner and dancing in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria following the concert. Individual Gala tickets priced at $6000, $3000, and $1500 include prime concert seating and the post-concert dinner-dance, and tickets priced at $1000 include prime concert seating and the pre-concert cocktail reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. All gala benefit tickets are available by calling 212-903-9679 or online at A limited number of concert-only tickets, priced $49-$151, are currently available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or online at

Prior to the concert, Carnegie Hall unveils the newly-named Blavatnik Family First Tier in recognition of a leading gift of $25 million from Len Blavatnik and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The Hall's first-level seating tier in its historic main auditorium will be named the Blavatnik Family First Tier from the start of its 2016-2017 season. The tier will hold this special name and designation for the next 50 years.

Following the opening night gala concert, Dudamel and the Bolívars return for two more performances. On Friday, October 7 at 8:00 p.m., Mr. DudaMel Conducts Stravinsky's Pétrouchka (1947 version), Paul Desenne's Hipnosis Mariposa, Villa-Lobos's Bachianas brasileiras No. 2, and selections from Juan Carlos Núñez's Tonadas de Simón Díaz. On Saturday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m., the orchestra plays Messiaen's ecstatic Turangalîla-symphonie featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and ondes martenot player Cynthia Millar. (Please note that the orchestra's October 6 and 7 programs were revised by Carnegie Hall as it finalized its gala programming.)

About the Artists
As an internationally renowned symphonic and operatic conductor, Gustavo Dudamel is motivated by a profound belief in music's power to unite and inspire. Currently serving as Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, the impact of his leadership extends from the greatest concert stages to classrooms, cinemas, and innovative digital platforms around the world. Mr. Dudamel also appears as guest conductor with some of the world's most famous musical institutions: in 2017, he will tour Europe with the Berlin Philharmonic, and he was the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic's famous New Year's Day Concert, watched annually by over 50 million people in 90 countries.

Now entering his eighth season as Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Dudamel's contract has been extended to the end of the 2021-2022 season. At his initiative, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has dramatically expanded the scope of its community outreach programs, including most notably the creation ten years ago of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by the philosophy of Venezuela's admired El Sistema. These programs have in turn inspired similar efforts throughout the United States, as well as in Sweden (Hammarkullen) and Scotland (Raploch).

As Music Director of the entire El Sistema project, Mr. DudaMel Continues to lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela as well as on tour.

Recordings, broadcasts, and digital innovations are also fundamental to Mr. Dudamel's passionate advocacy for universal access to music. A Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2005, he has numerous recordings on the label, many which have earned Grammy Awards, as well as video/DVD releases that capture the excitement of significant moments of his musical life.

Mr. Dudamel is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation. He received the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award in 2016 and the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School. In 2013, he was named Musical America's Musician of the Year and inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. Other awards include the 2010 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT; 2009 Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and being named one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people; and the 2008 "Q Prize" from Harvard.

Born in 1981 in Venezuela, access to music for all has been the cornerstone of Dudamel's philosophy, both professionally and philanthropically.

The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) was founded by José Antonio Abreu. Under the music direction of Gustavo Dudamel, its members have been trained under El Sistema's Orchestral Academic Program, and have been performed under conductors of international stature such as Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Krzysztof Penderecki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Lorin Maazel. Between 2000 and 2015, the SBSOV toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas, appearing at festivals such as the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Semperoper of the Sächsische Staatsoper, Carnegie Hall's Berlin in Lights and Voices from Latin America festivals, the Lucerne and Salzburg festivals, and the LA Phil's Immortal Beethoven festival. The SBSOV has also performed in various world-class venues that include the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. The SBSOV has been resident orchestra at the Lucerne Festival at Easter; the Walt Disney Hall as part of the Mahler Project in which Dudamel lEd Mahler's completed symphonies with the LA Phil and the SBSOV in Los Angeles and in Caracas; the Salzburg Festival, where it became the first foreign orchestra to take on the ritual of performing Mozart's Mass in C Minor in St Peter's Abbey; the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where the Bolívars gave three concerts and eight performances of La bohème, becoming the first orchestra not based at Teatro alla Scala featured by the prestigious opera house in one of its productions of La bohème.

The SBSOV and Maestro Dudamel are exclusive artists of Deutsche Grammophon, with which they recorded Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh Symphonies and Mahler's Fifth Symphony, as well as their successful album Fiesta, and an album that features works by Tchaikovsky, including the Fifth Symphony, and Francesca da Rimini. In 2013, the SBSOV recorded the soundtrack of Alberto Arvelo's film El Libertador, under the baton of Mr. Dudamel, who composed it. A year later, they recorded an album featuring extracts from Richard Wagner's operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung.

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