Youth Orchestra Los Angeles to play at Super Bowl 50

Gustavo Dudamel conducts a rehearsal with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Gustavo Dudamel conducts a rehearsal with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Last week it was announced that Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct members of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles in the Super Bowl halftime show. This is big news for the world of classical music. Nothing like that has happened in the 50 years of the event.

For Dudamel, this is business as usual. His native Venezuelans watch him on national television and he performs regularly for Venezuelan celebrations and major occasions. Classical music at the Super Bowl is a different story. Will this youth orchestra composed of mainly African American, Asian and Latino inner city kids bridge the divide between classical and pop culture?

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