I don't believe that Gustavo Dudamel is the savior of classical music that so many people think he is. He is a great conductor, and reports from the LA Phil report that the ensemble is pleased with him. (I might be holding a small grudge, since we're the same age ...) We all will be able to learn a lot from him, and I hope he has a long, fruitful career - I, for one, will enjoy watching him continue to grow and develop, as a musician and educator.
El Sistema gets a lot of press in music education circles - it's one of the new buzzwords. There is a lot we can learn from it in music education in America, but it's key to realize the cultural differences between countries means that we can't just copy and paste.
The following videos, broadcast on PBS and of Dudamel's appearance on Leno, are great, and good way to spend an hour this weekend, before seeing LA Phil's first concert broadcast to movie theatres across the nation. Please attend if you can!