Welcome Home, LA Phil!

Welcome Home, LA Phil!

"They are finally here..."

After so much planning and arrangements, meetings and discussions; after the wonderful time we spent in LA with spectacular concerts and tremendous successes, the LA Phil was greeted yesterday by an ecstatic Caracas audience.

And what a trip it's been! The Bolivars have been doing their part for The Mahler Project in their home town, with as much success as they had in LA -- beautiful audiences composed of all ages and walks of life gathered themselves in the José Felix Ribas Hall of the landmark Teresa Carreño Theater to bask in the brilliance and enormity of Mahler's works.

However, as much as the Bolivars are local heroes in their own right, the amount of expectations for the LA Phil has been felt the moment the tickets were available. The whole cycle sold out in just over 5 hours, with a lot of interest in the symphonies performed by our guest orchestra. And it is in the best spirit of the project to have the two orchestras that most clearly define Gustavo's career perform in both of his homes, to bring all this music, all this force, sorrow and joy to so many people across two countries, to make universal culture universally accessible, that is the goal of Gustavo and all of us in our respective institutions.

From Maestro Abreu's greeting at the airport gate, to the jarring pause that seemed to make the entire world hold its breath at the end of Mahler 9 to the enormous applause bestowed on the LA Phil by a standing, cheering audience, it was clear that they were guests no longer.

Welcome home, LA Phil - we're looking forward to so much more.

Editor's Note: Rodrigo Guerrero is the Deputy Director of Institutional Development & International Affairs for the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela