Dudamel’s intensity not dulled by controversy

Jorge Silva/Reuters

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Gustavo Dudamel, who will lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic on its first visit to Boston since 1983 on Sunday, arrives here in the midst of controversy. As the Globe and others have reported, Dudamel has faced scrutiny for his refusal to condemn the actions of the government of President Nicolas Maduro in his native Venezuela.

Away from the political sphere, though, Dudamel seems to be piloting the Philharmonic with the kind of dynamic intensity that made him the world’s most sought-after conductor when he assumed its music directorship in 2009. Happily, he seems to be championing American music of the present and recent past. On the Philharmonic’s tour he is conducting the First Symphony of John Corigliano, an anguished memorial to the victims of AIDS composed in 1988. And Deutsche Grammophon has just released Dudamel’s recording of John Adams’ recent oratorio “The Gospel According to the Other Mary,” which the Philharmonic co-commissioned and premiered in May 2012. It is a remarkable work.

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