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December 12, 2008 3:17 PM

Venezuela's 'rock star' maestro brings China to its feet

When he was six or seven years old, Gustavo Dudamel used to set up an imaginary symphony made up of toy figures, put Tchaikovsky on the family stereo, pump up the volume and swing an imaginary baton, conducting with childhood abandon. Now, he's traveling across Asia with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, and next year, he'll become the leader of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It's success Dudamel credits to Venezuela's network of youth orchestras.

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