Gustavo Dudamel is undoubtedly an international star, as charismatic as he is talented, and his work with El Sistemo to instill classical (symphonic) music in the young people of Venezuela is worthy of celebration, but an hour of promotion before the actual concert began smacked of overkill. Once the concert got underway, it was mostly an exercise in the sublime, and I was thankful for the opportunity to hear this rarely performed titanic masterpiece, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand."