As an internationally renowned symphonic and operatic conductor, Gustavo Dudamel is motivated by a profound belief in music's power to unite and inspire. Currently serving 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. Dudamel also appears as guest conductor with some of the world’s most famous musical institutions. In 2017, he becomes the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic's famous New Year's Day Concert.
Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009, Gustavo Dudamel was born in 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. His early musical and mentoring experiences inspired his life-long commitment to music as a catalyst for learning, integration, and social change. Dudamel’s work in his native Venezuela serves as the cornerstone of his engagement with young people, and he steadfastly commits some twenty-five weeks of his annual schedule to the orchestras and children of El Sistema, both in Caracas and around the country. During his 18th 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 launch the Carnegie Hall season in New York with three programs. In March 2017, they perform entire Beethoven symphony cycles in Barcelona, Vienna and for the opening of Hamburg's new Elbphilharmonie concert hall.
Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Now entering his eighth season as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel’s contract has been extended to the end of the 2021-2022 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. With 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).
At the Los Angeles Philharmonic, not only the breadth of audiences reached is remarkable, but also the depth of programming performed under Dudamel. LA Phil programs continue to represent the best and boldest in new music, including numerous premieres and commissions by composers such as John Adams, Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner, Arvo Pärt, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Kaija Saariaho.
Recordings and Broadcasts
Recordings, broadcasts and digital innovations are also fundamental to Dudamel's passionate advocacy for universal access to music. Dudamel's discography includes among many others a special charity LP release of Mendelssohn's “Scottish” Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic which raised funds for music education projects in Europe and Latin America.
Dudamel has also independently produced an all-Wagner recording available exclusively for download, a complete set of Beethoven symphonies for digital learning, and a streaming broadcast of two Stravinsky ballets with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in cooperation with the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall.
Gustavo Dudamel is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation. He received the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award in 2016, and the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School. He was named Musical America’s 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.”