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Gustavo Dudamel conducts Star Wars music
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Gustavo Dudamel: 'I thought John Williams was joking when he asked me to conduct his Star Wars music'

There is awe in Gustavo Dudamel’s voice as he describes the moment he watched the words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” crawl across the screen in front of him. 

That was his cue to pick up his baton and begin conducting a Hollywood studio orchestra in some of the most famous bars of music ever written. 

He’d been at home in Los Angeles last autumn when their composer, John Williams rang: “He said, 'I’d love you to come and conduct the opening and closing credits on the new Star Wars movie’,” Dudamel recalls. “I laughed, 'yeah right’. John’s got a great sense of humour and I thought he must be joking. But he wasn’t. And it was such a privilege to stand next to this genius and conduct this music I’ve been in love with all my life.” 

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