MUSIC & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR GUSTAVO DUDAMEL

By LA Phil

As an internationally renowned symphonic and operatic conductor, Gustavo Dudamel is motivated by a profound belief in music’s power to unite and inspire. He currently serves as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The impact of his leadership extends from the greatest concert stages to classrooms, cinemas, and innovative digital platforms around the world.

GUSTAVO DUDAMEL PORTRAIT (B. 1981), MD 2009 - (2016) by Erik Madigan HeckLA Phil

Gustavo Dudamel is defined by his untiring advocacy for access to music for all. As a symphonic and operatic conductor, his music-making on four continents continues to inspire audiences of all ages. Although Gustavo Dudamel was only 22 years old and little known outside his native Venezuela when Walt Disney Concert Hall opened, the venue might have been custom designed for the immediacy of the young conductor. Dudamel made his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut in January 2007 with a program that included Bartók’s demanding Concerto for Orchestra, which was recorded live and released by Deutsche Grammophon. Later that year, he was named Music & Artistic Director of the LA Phil, succeeding Esa-Pekka Salonen in 2009. Dudamel’s inaugural gala in Walt Disney Concert Hall, featuring the world premiere of John Adams’ City Noir and Mahler’s First Symphony, was televised and broadcast internationally and subsequently released on DVD. Dudamel has appeared as guest conductor with some of the world’s most famous musical institutions: in 2017, he toured Europe with the Berlin Philharmonic and is the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic’s famous New Year’s Day Concert, watched annually by over 50 million people in 90 countries.

DUDAMEL CONDUCTS LA PHIL AT BOSTON SYMPHONY HALL (2018) by Robert TorresLA Phil

Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation. He received the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School, was named Musical Americas 2013 Musician of the Year, one of the highest honors in the classical music industry, and was voted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. In October of 2011, he was named Gramophone Artist of the Year, and in May of the same year was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in consideration of his “eminent merits in the musical art.” The previous year, he received the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. Dudamel was inducted into l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a Chevalier in Paris in 2009 and received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado in his hometown of Barquisimeto. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenburg in 2012. In 2008, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra was awarded Spain’s prestigious annual Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts and, along with his mentor José Antonio Abreu, Dudamel was given the “Q” Prize from Harvard University for extraordinary service to children.

Gustav and Gustavo: A Fated History - Inside the Music, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, 2015-03-06, From the collection of: LA Phil
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GUSTAVO DUDAMEL AND YOLA STUDENTS (2016) by Sam ComenLA Phil

Gustavo Dudamel’s work in his native Venezuela serves as the cornerstone of his engagement with young people, and he steadfastly commits some 25 weeks of his annual schedule to the orchestras and children of El Sistema, both in Caracas and around the country. During his 20th season as Music Director of the entire El Sistema project, he continues to lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela, as well as on tour around the globe. Following a late summer 2016 European tour, the Bolívars and Dudamel launched the Carnegie Hall season in New York with three programs. In March 2017, they performed Beethoven symphony cycles in Barcelona, Vienna, and for the opening of Hamburg's new Elbphilharmonie concert hall.

YOLA: The 10th Anniversary Tour, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, 2017-04-26, From the collection of: LA Phil
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DUDAMEL AT WDCH (2012) by Vern EvansLA Phil

As he completes his tenth season as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel’s contract has been extended to the end of the 2021/22 season. At his initiative, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has dramatically expanded the scope of its community outreach programs, including most notably the creation of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by the philosophy of Venezuela’s admired El Sistema, which encourages social development through music. Through YOLA and diverse local educational initiatives, Dudamel brings music to children in underserved communities of Los Angeles. These programs have in turn inspired similar efforts throughout the United States, as well as in Sweden (Hammarkullen) and Scotland (Raploch).

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