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. He is honorary conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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 he was taught the violin by José Luis Jiménez. He then went on to work with José Francisco del Castillo at the Latin-American Violin Academy. He 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.
Gustavo Dudamel won a number of conducting competitions, including the Gustav Mahler Conducting Prize in Germany in 2004. His reputation began to spread, and he was noticed by conductors such as Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado, who accepted invitations to conduct the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela. Dudamel debuted with the Philharmonia, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others, in 2005, and also signed a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon.
In 2005, Gustavo Dudamel first conducted the Gothenburg Symphony at the BBC Proms, on short notice as a replacement for the indisposed Neeme Järvi.
In 2006, Dudamel was named Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony. He continues to retain his position with the Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra. He took up the Gothenburg post in 2007, and his contract ended there in 2012.
He 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, Gustavo Dudamel 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.
In March 2008, he made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony.
In 2013, Dudamel conducted the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra during the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. (... Wikipedia)
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