Driven by the belief in the power of music to heal, unite, and inspire, Gustavo Dudamel is one of today’s most distinguished conductors. From great concert halls to classrooms, video screens, and movie theaters, his musical achievements and championship of access to the arts for young people around the world demonstrates music’s extraordinary capacity to transform lives.
Mr. Dudamel’s 2018–19 season centers around the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s centennial celebration and his 10th year as its music and artistic director. Other highlights include his Metropolitan Opera debut, conducting Verdi’s Otello; tours with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and his first extended academic residency at Princeton University.
A lifelong advocate for music education and social development through art, Mr. Dudamel himself was shaped by his childhood experience with El Sistema, the immersive musical training program initiated in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu. In his 19th year as music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Dudamel carries on the work of his late mentor with his ongoing commitment to El Sistema in Venezuela, and by supporting numerous Sistema-inspired projects around the world. He also continues to expand the reach of his Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) initiative, including the 2019 opening of a new Frank Gehry–designed facility in Inglewood, California.
One of the few classical musicians to truly reach mainstream audiences, Gustavo Dudamel has been featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes three times and was the subject of a PBS special, Dudamel: Conducting a Life. He has been interviewed on CNN, Conan, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Sesame Street. He had a cameo role in Amazon Studio’s award-winning series Mozart in the Jungle and, together with members of YOLA, became the first classical musician to participate in the Super Bowl Halftime Show. At John Williams’s request, Mr. Dudamel guest-conducted on the soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens; he also recorded James Newton Howard’s soundtrack to Disney’s holiday blockbuster The Nutcracker, in which he makes an on-screen cameo.
Gustavo Dudamel was born in 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation, a registered charity, was created in 2012 with the goal of promoting access to music as a human right and a catalyst for learning, integration, and social change.