Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, one of the world's most outstanding artists, has just renewed his contract with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra until the 2025-2026 season.
With those words the board of directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra announced the renewal of Gustavo Dudamel's contract, who has been the artistic and musical director since 2009. This gesture is not only an endorsement of Dudamel's decade of work, but also a way of reassurance after the Orchestra was shaken by the sudden resignation of its general director in September of last year.
The Venezuelan, born in Barquisimeto in 1981, was trained at El Sistema Nacional de Orquestas, founded by José Antonio Abreu, where he was not only trained as a violinist but also as an orchestra conductor.
In 2004 he became internationally visible by winning the Bamberger Symphoniker Gustav Mahler competition. Between 2007 and 2012 he conducted the Gothenburg Symphony and in 2007 he founded, in association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the YOLA: Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, a foundation inspired by El Sistema, which currently educates more than 1,200 musicians. The impact of the YOLA and Dudamel's management has been such that they played during the 2016 Super Bowl intermission together with Beyoncé, Coldplay and Bruno Mars. This is already a huge achievement for any artist, let alone a classical music youth orchestra.
The social work done by Dudamen, as well as the way he has diversified the orchestra's repertoire, taking risks and exploring the encounter between classical music and Katy Perry, the soundtrack of Star Wars, Sigur Rós or traditional Latin American music has served not only to have the New York Times call the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra "the best orchestra in America, period" in 2017, but also to disappear that mantle of strangeness and distance that covers classical music and bring it closer to a much wider audience.
In addition to his 57 recordings, one of which earned him a Grammy award for his performance of Brahms' Fourth Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel has conducted several of the best orchestras on the planet. For example, in 2017 he conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden, this year he will conduct the Berlin Philharmonic during the celebration of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and for two weeks the New York Philharmonic.
Among other recognitions, he has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2009 and in 2019 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his defense of music as a human right.