Gustavo Dudamel

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Dudamel and the second or maternal family name is Ramírez.
Gustavo Dudamel

Dudamel in 2012
Background information
Birth name Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez
Born (1981-01-26) January 26, 1981
Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Composer, conductor
Instruments Violin
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez (born January 26, 1981) is a Venezuelan conductor and violinist. He is the music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Life and career

Early life

Dudamel was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, the son of a trombonist and a voice teacher.[1] He studied music from an early age, becoming involved with El Sistema, the famous Venezuelan musical education program, and took up the violin at age ten. He soon began to study composition. He attended the Jacinto Lara Conservatory, where José Luis Jiménez was among his violin teachers. He then went on to work with José Francisco del Castillo at the Latin-American Violin Academy.

Dudamel began to study conducting in 1995, first with Rodolfo Saglimbeni, then later with José Antonio Abreu. In 1999, he was appointed music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, the national youth orchestra of Venezuela, and toured several countries. He attended Charles Dutoit's master class in Buenos Aires in 2002, and worked as assistant for Simon Rattle in Berlin and Salzburg in 2003.

Conducting career

Dudamel has won a number of conducting competitions, including the Gustav Mahler Conducting Prize in Germany in 2004.[2] His reputation began to spread, attracting the attention of conductors such as Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado, who accepted invitations to conduct the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Veneite. [3] In April 2006 Dudamel was appointed as principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony for season 2007-2008.[4]

Dudamel made his debut at La Scala, Milan, with Don Giovanni in November 2006. On September 10, 2007, he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time at the Lucerne Festival. On April 16, 2007 he conducted the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in a concert in commemoration of the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI, with Hilary Hahn as solo violinist, with the Pope and many other church dignitaries among the audience.[5]

In 2013 Dudamel conducted the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra during the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Dudamel continues to retain his position with the Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra.[6]

In April 2014 Dudamel returned to conduct with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, as its Honorary Conductor, for concerts in the orchestra’s home city and on tour in France, Switzerland, and Italy.[7]

In 2015 Dudamel conducted both the opening and end titles, at the behest of famed movie composer John Williams, for the official motion picture soundtrack and film of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

In the 2016 Super Bowl, Dudamel and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) accompanied Coldplay and sang along with Chris Martin, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.

Music director, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dudamel made his US conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LAP) at the Hollywood Bowl on September 13, 2005 in a program consisting of "La Noche de los Mayas" by Silvestre Revueltas and the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5.[8] Dudamel was subsequently invited back to conduct the orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in January 2007 in performances of "Dances of Galánta" by Zoltán Kodály, the third piano concerto of Sergei Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman as soloist, and Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra (the latter of which was recorded live and subsequently released by Deutsche Grammophon).

In April 2007, during a guest conducting engagement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel was named the LAP's next music director as of the 2009–2010 season, succeeding Esa-Pekka Salonen. His initial contract in Los Angeles was for five years, beginning in September 2009.[9][10][11]

Dudamel began his tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on September 28, 2009 with a rehearsal of Beethoven's 9th Symphony that included the Los Angeles Master Chorale and representatives of eight community-based choruses. His first official rehearsal with the orchestra followed on September 30. On October 3 he conducted Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl in "Bienvenido Gustavo," a free concert, and conducted his official inaugural concert featuring the world premiere of John Adams' City Noir and Mahler's Symphony No. 1 with his new orchestra in Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 8.

In February 2011, the orchestra announced the extension of Dudamel's contract through the end of the 2018–2019 season, including the orchestra's 100th anniversary.[12] In March 2015, the orchestra announced a further extension of his Los Angeles Philharmonic contract through the 2021–2022 season.[13]

Awards and media

Dudamel is featured in the documentary film Tocar y Luchar, which covers El Sistema. Dudamel and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar received the WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award in New York City in November 2007. Another US television news feature on Dudamel was on 60 Minutes in February 2008, entitled "Gustavo the Great".

On July 23, 2009, Dudamel was selected by the Eighth Glenn Gould Prize laureate José Antonio Abreu as winner of the prestigious The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize.

Dudamel is featured in the 2011 documentary "Let The Children Play," a film which focuses on his work advocating for music as a way to enrich children's lives.[14]

Gramophone, the British classical music magazine, named Dudamel its 2011 Gramophone Artist of the Year. (Previous recipients of the award include Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Tilson Thomas, Riccardo Chailly, Cecilia Bartoli and Antonio Pappano). In February 2012, Dudamel won a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance, for his recording of Brahms Symphony No. 4 for the label Deutsche Grammophon. [15][16] Dudamel was also named Musical America’s 2013 Musician of the Year.[17] The LAP continued commitment to innovation and new music under the direction of Dudamel and Borda prompted New Yorker critic Alex Ross to name the “the most creative, and, therefore, the best orchestra in America.”[18]

The character of Rodrigo in Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle was based, in part, on Dudamel. In the first episode of the show's second season, in which Rodrigo appears as a guest conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel appears as a guest actor, playing the part of a stage manager.

Personal life

Dudamel and his ex-wife, Eloísa Maturén

Dudamel married Eloísa Maturén in 2006 in Caracas. Maturén, also a Venezuelan native, is a classically trained ballet dancer and a journalist. The Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra combined forces with the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and the Orfeon Universitario of the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado to make the event a special musical celebration. The wedding took place in the chapel at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Montalbán, a suburb of Caracas. They have a son, Martín Dudamel Maturén, a U.S. citizen.[19] In March 2015, the couple filed papers for divorce.[13]




  1. Reed Johnson (23 November 2008). "Conductor Gustavo Dudamel is riding a wave of Dudamania". LA Times. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
  2. Sue Steward (23 Feb 2006). "He's astonishingly gifted". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  3. "Dudamel förnyar kontrakt med Göteborgs Symfoniker till 2012". Göteborgs Symfoniker. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  4. Vivien Schweitzer (13 de abril de 2006). "Gustavo Dudamel Appointed Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 16 de agosto de 2007. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  5. Nicole Winfield (16 Apr 2007). "Pope marks 80th birthday with concert". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  6. Richard Morrison (15 Feb 2007). "True class: South America's lightning conductor". The Times. London. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  7. Mark Swed (15 September 2005). "He holds Bowl in palm of his hands; Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, 24, commands attention". Los Angeles Times.
  8. Mark Swed (April 8, 2007). "Maestro will pass baton to up-and-comer in '09". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  9. Matthew Westphal (April 8, 2007). "Gustavo Dudamel to Succeed Esa-Pekka Salonen at LA Philharmonic in 2009". Playbill Arts. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  10. Daniel J. Wakin (April 9, 2007). "Maestro of Los Angeles Philharmonic to Pass the Baton to a Wunderkind". New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  11. David Ng (February 3, 2011). "Gustavo Dudamel extends contract with L.A. Philharmonic through 2018–19 season". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  12. 1 2 Jeffrey Fleishman; Mike Boehm; David Ng (March 27, 2015). "Gustavo Dudamel's L.A. Phil deal reverberates across classical music world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  13. "Gustavo Dudamel Comes to the Big Screen / News / News / All Things Strings". 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
  14. Tilden, Imogen. "Gustavo Dudamel named artist of the year at Gramophone awards". The Guardian.
  15. "Grammy Awards 2012: Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Philharmonic win". Los Angeles Times.
  16. Boehm, Mike. "Gustavo Dudamel named musician of the year by Musical America". Los Angeles Times.
  17. Ross, Alex (June 18, 2012). "Sacred Dissonance". The New Yorker.
  18. "LA Phil's Gustavo Dudamel, Wife Welcome First Child". CBS Los Angeles. CBS Local Media. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
Further reading

External links

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