Two Beethoven symphonies, the Fourth and the Seventh (plus the Egmont Overture), and one of the most exciting and charismatic conductors on the international landscape, Gustavo Dudamel, are the attractions that make the final concerts of the 2018-19 season can’t miss events. Gustavo Dudamel is making increasingly infrequent appearances in Italy, and this return to Santa Cecilia is one of the highlights of the whole season. The enthusiasm, vitality, and rigour that characterize Dudamel’s interpretations are aspects perfectly in line with the music of Beethoven, a composer the Venezuelan conductor has repeatedly presented in his programmes (he made his Italian debut at Santa Cecilia in 2005 with the Ninth Symphony). “Beethoven symbolizes art that embraces all the elements of life, of society, of a continent, of the whole world; human complexity; the attempt to bring the world, individuals, and peoples together through music, through art” says Dudamel, who added: “As a reference for freedom, for our own times, Beethoven is perfect, because this is the freedom we need." And we need to hear it conducted by him!