Dudamel in 2012
Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez
26 January 1981
Life and career
Dudamel was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, the son of a trombonist and a voice teacher. 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. Barrett Baker of Pace Academy coined his nickname, "Duda."
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.
Dudamel has won a number of competitions, including the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Germany in 2004. 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. In April 2006 Dudamel was appointed as principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony for season 2007/2008.
Dudamel made his debut at La Scala, Milan, with Don Giovanni in November 2006. On 10 September 2007, he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time at the Lucerne Festival. On 16 April 2007 he conducted the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall 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.
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. 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.
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. At the 2016 Super Bowl, Dudamel and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) accompanied Coldplay and sang along with Chris Martin, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars.
On 1 January 2017, Dudamel conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in their traditional New Year's Day Concert; at the age of only 35, he is the youngest guest conductor in history to lead this event. In December 2018, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, conducting Verdi's Otello.
Dudamel served as the 2018–2019 artist-in-residence at Princeton University in celebration of Princeton University Concerts' 125th anniversary. This engagement included cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural panels & discussions, chamber concerts featuring musicians from his associated orchestras (the Met, LA, & Berlin), and in April 2019, Dudamel conducted the Princeton University Orchestra and the Princeton University Glee Club as the culmination of his year-long residency.
Music director, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Dudamel made his US conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LAP) at the Hollywood Bowl on 13 September 2005 in a program consisting of "La Noche de los Mayas" by Silvestre Revueltas and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. 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.
Dudamel began his tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic on 28 September 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 3 October 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 8 October.
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.
Dudamel performed his Libertador orchestral film suite with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in the "Noche de Cine" concert special, 30 July 2014, with the guitarist and Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla as special guest in an extended suite from his music for The Motorcycle Diaries, one of six varied film and television scores excerpted on the program.
In March 2015, the orchestra announced a further extension of his Los Angeles Philharmonic contract through the 2021–2022 season.
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."
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.
Gramophone, the British classical music magazine, named Dudamel its 2011 Gramophone Artist of the Year. Also in 2011, he was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. 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. In 2013, Dudamel was named Musical America's Musician of the Year and was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. The LAP's continued commitment to innovation and new music under the direction of Dudamel and Borda prompted New Yorker critic Alex Ross to name LAP "the most creative, and, therefore, the best orchestra in America." Dudamel received the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School in 2014 and the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award in 2016.
The character of Rodrigo in Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle was based, in part, on Dudamel. Rodrigo is also curly-haired, Latin American, very young, and usually referred to only by his first name. 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.
In August 2018, Dudamel announced plans for the LA Phil's 2018/2019 centennial season, including an unprecedented 50 commissions of new music and a Frank Gehry-designed permanent home for Dudamel's YOLA youth orchestra.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 22 January 2019. In his speech accepting it, he said that it should belong to Venezuela, the country he is from, and that "tomorrow [23 Jan. 2019] is a crucial day [and] the voice of the masses must be heard and respected", referring to the planned national protest on that date and the then-ongoing 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis.
Dudamel has been married twice. His first marriage, in 2006, was to Eloísa Maturén in Caracas. Maturén, also a Venezuelan native, is a classically trained ballet dancer and a journalist. Their marriage produced a son, Martín Dudamel Maturén, a U.S. citizen. In March 2015, Dudamel and Maturén filed papers for divorce. In February 2017, Dudamel married secretly in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, Spanish actress María Valverde, whom he had first met in 2016. He became a Spanish citizen in 2018.
- Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Birthday Concert for Pope Benedict XVI [w / Hilary Hahn & the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart] DVD
- Mahler: Symphony No. 5 [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra [w / the Los Angeles Philharmonic] Digital Download only
- The Promise of Music [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] DVD
- Fiesta [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique [w / the Los Angeles Philharmonic] Digital Download only
- Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert [w / the Los Angeles Philharmonic] DVD; e-Video
- Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (From the Inaugural Concert) [w / the Los Angeles Philharmonic] Digital Download only
- Discoveries [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Live from Salzburg [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] DVD
- Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Francesca da Rimini [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Celebración – Opening Night Concert & Gala [w/ Juan Diego Flórez and the Los Angeles Philharmonic] DVD; Digital Download
- Adams: City Noir (From the Inaugural Concert) [w/ the Los Angeles Philharmonic] Digital Download only
- Rite [w / the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 – Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 – Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 [w/ the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra] CD
- Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare [w/ the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- New Year's Eve Concert 2010 [w/ Elīna Garanča and the Berliner Philharmoniker] DVD
- Adams: Slonimsky's Earbox – Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" [w/ the Los Angeles Philharmonic] Digital Download only
- Brahms: Symphony No. 4 [w/ the Los Angeles Philharmonic] Digital Download only
- An American in Paris [w/ the Los Angeles Philharmonic] e-Video only
- Dances and Waves [w/ the Vienna Philharmonic] CD; DVD; Digital Download
- Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 [w/ the Vienna Philharmonic] Vinyl only (LP)
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" [w/ the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Discoveries [w/ Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra] CD+DVD; Digital Download
- Mahler: Symphony No. 8 [w/ Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela] DVD; Blu-ray; e-Video
- Mahler: Symphony No. 9 [w/ Los Angeles Philharmonic] CD
- Mahler: Symphony No. 7. [w/ Símon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela] CD
- Wagner [w/ Símon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela] Digital Download
- Philip Glass: Double Piano Concerto [w/ Katia and Marielle Labeque(Piano), Los Angeles Philharmonic] Only at iTunes
- New Year Concert [w/ Vienna Philharmonic ] CDs and Digital download.
- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms original soundtrack CD and Digital Download
- Reed Johnson (23 November 2008). "Conductor Gustavo Dudamel rides a wave of Dudamania". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
- Sue Steward (23 February 2006). "He's astonishingly gifted". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- "Dudamel förnyar kontrakt med Göteborgs Symfoniker till 2012". Göteborgs Symfoniker. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- Vivien Schweitzer (13 April 2006). "Gustavo Dudamel Appointed Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- Nicole Winfield (16 April 2007). "Pope marks 80th birthday with concert". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- Richard Morrison (15 February 2007). "True class: South America's lightning conductor". The Times. London. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
- "Gustavo Dudamel makes his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting Verdi’s Otello on December 14", Metropolitan Opera, 12 November 2018
- "Biography - Gustavo Dudamel". www.gustavodudamel.com. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- Cooper, Michael (12 December 2018). "Gustavo Dudamel's Favorite Part of 'Otello' Is a Quiet Prayer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "Gustavo Dudamel Residency 2018/19" (PDF). www.princetonuniversityconcerts.org. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "Dudamel in Residence". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- Mark Swed (15 September 2005). "He holds Bowl in palm of his hands; Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, 24, commands attention". Los Angeles Times.
- Mark Swed (8 April 2007). "Maestro will pass baton to up-and-comer in '09". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Matthew Westphal (8 April 2007). "Gustavo Dudamel to Succeed Esa-Pekka Salonen at LA Philharmonic in 2009". Playbill Arts. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007.
- Daniel J. Wakin (9 April 2007). "Maestro of Los Angeles Philharmonic to Pass the Baton to a Wunderkind". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
- David Ng (3 February 2011). "Gustavo Dudamel extends contract with L.A. Philharmonic through 2018–19 season". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "Hollywood Bowl's 'Noche de Cine' also a night of Gustavos" by Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 1 August 2014
- Jeffrey Fleishman; Mike Boehm; David Ng (27 March 2015). "Gustavo Dudamel's L.A. Phil deal reverberates across classical music world". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Gustavo Dudamel Comes to the Big Screen / News / News / All Things Strings". Stringsmagazine.com. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- Tilden, Imogen. "Gustavo Dudamel named artist of the year at Gramophone awards". The Guardian.
- "Grammy Awards 2012: Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Philharmonic win". Los Angeles Times.
- Boehm, Mike. "Gustavo Dudamel named musician of the year by Musical America". Los Angeles Times.
- Ross, Alex (18 June 2012). "Sacred Dissonance". The New Yorker.
- Ng, David (10 February 2014). "'Mozart in the Jungle': Is 'Rodrigo' a parody of Gustavo Dudamel?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- Troncoso M., Constanza (24 June 2018). "Gustavo Dudamel recibe Orden al Mérito Pablo Neruda: El maestro venezolano está en Chile para honrar a su mentor" [Gustavo Dudamel Receives Pablo Neruda Order of Merit: The Venezuelan Teacher is in Chile to Honor His Mentor]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). Santiago. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
- ""Superstar Conductor" Gustavo Dudamel to Receive The 25th Annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize". The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- "Gustavo Dudamel to receive Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for his work in the arts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
- ""Mañana #23E es un día crucial", dice Dudamel tras recibir estrella en el Paseo de la Fama". Efecto Cocuyo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "LA Phil's Gustavo Dudamel, Wife Welcome First Child". CBS Los Angeles. CBS Local Media. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- "María Valverde se casa con el director de orquesta Gustavo Dudamel". El País. 14 March 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "Gustavo Dudamel y Andrés Pastrana adoptan la nacionalidad española". Iberoeconomía. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- Tunstall, Tricia, Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music, New York: W.W. Norton & Co. 2012 ISBN 978-0-393-07896-1