Gustavo Dudamel sidelined by back ailment

Gustavo Dudamel sidelined by back ailment
Gustavo Dudamel (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Gustavo Dudamel has canceled upcoming public appearances in June due to severe pain in his back, his spokeswoman has confirmed.  The music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is suffering from intense lower back spasms and has been ordered to stop working for now, she said.

Dudamel, 34, had been scheduled to appear with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden and the Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich in Switzerland this month. For the latter appearances, he will be replaced on the podium by Lionel Bringuier, head conductor of the Swiss orchestra.


In Sweden, conductor Lahav Shani is filling in this week for Dudamel, according to the Gothenburg Symphony's official Twitter feed.

The spokeswoman for Dudamel said via e-mail that the cancellations were due to "intense lower back spasms which have not been alleviated by prescribed medical treatment.  His doctors have now ordered him to temporarily cease all work, get immediate further treatment, and rest."

It remains unclear how long Dudamel will take to recover and if his back ailment will affect his engagements beyond June.

According to his official website, the conductor is still scheduled to appear with the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra in July. His next scheduled L.A. appearances are to begin July 21 at the Hollywood Bowl, where he will lead the L.A. Philharmonic.

In 2010, the conductor injured his neck while conducting at Walt Disney Concert Hall. He exited the performance early but returned to the podium the following day.

News of Dudamel's cancellations was reported Wednesday by European publications, including, and classical music blogger Norman Lebrecht.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT