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Should art come before politics? Gustavo Dudamel faces criticism for Venezuela concerts




Venezuelan maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simon Bolivar National Youth Orchestra during a concert at Berkeley University in San Francisco, California, on November 30, 2012 during a US tour.
Venezuelan maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simon Bolivar National Youth Orchestra during a concert at Berkeley University in San Francisco, California, on November 30, 2012 during a US tour.
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The Venezuelan-born musical director of the LA Philharmonic has stepped back into LA amid criticism of a concert he held in the capital Caracas only blocks away from where a student was killed during violent protests.

The situation in Venezuela has since escalated and opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez turned himself into authorities on Tuesday.

Dudamel defended his appearance,  where he led a government-funded youth ensemble in a commemorative concert, as representing "the values of Peace, Love and Unity."

Dudamel has not explicitly supported Venezuela's embattled leader Nicolas Maduro but critics argue that he should be using his high profile status to speak out against the president. Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriela Montero spoke out against Dudamel's decision to not speak out against Maduro in a public letter she posted this week on Facebook. 

Should Dudamel have used his high profile status to speak out against the government? Do artists have a duty to weigh in on political matters? Is this incident different from other high profile musicians who have performed for questionable world leaders?\

Guest: 

Juan Forero, South America bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal

Gabriela Montero, Venezuelan-American pianist