Gustavo Dudamel

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Gustavo Dudamel (2008)

Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez (born January 26, 1981 in Barquisimeto , Venezuela ) is a Venezuelan conductor and violinist .

Musical career

Dudamel was born in the Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto as the son of a trombonist and a singing teacher. His musical education began very early in the framework of the Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela ("El Sistema"), a nationally organized program to promote the musical education of children and young people. Dudamel began studying the violin at the age of ten, and later also composition. When he first conducted the youth orchestra in his hometown for the first time at the age of twelve, his talent was quickly discovered and Dudamel was encouraged to study conducting. In 1999, at the age of 18, he was appointed chief conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana Simón Bolívar , the Venezuelan state youth orchestra.

In 2004 Dudamel won the 1st Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra . In 2006 he recorded his first CD for Deutsche Grammophon .

On April 16, 2007 he conducted on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. a concert with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Vatican . The program included works by Antonín Dvořák , Giovanni Gabrieli and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .

From 2007/08 to 2012 Dudamel was chief conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra . He was then appointed honorary conductor of the orchestra.

In 2008 Dudamel conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time at their annual summer concert on the Berlin Waldbühne . In the same year he was awarded the Würth Prize of Jeunesses Musicales Germany .

Since the 2009/10 season (October 3, 2009), he has taken on the position of Conductor and 1st Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra for five years in addition to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra . In the five years under his direction, the orchestra played 60 world premieres, 20 of which he himself conducted. He was instrumental in the development of the YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), which until 2014 welcomed a total of 600 children from disadvantaged (underserved) communities. Dudamel's contract was extended to 2021 in March 2015.

In 2009 Dudamel received the SAECULUM-Glashütte-Original-Musikfestspielpreis, awarded during the Dresden Music Festival.

In 2012 he conducted the Vienna Philharmonic's Summer Night Concert in the park of Schönbrunn Palace . He performed again with the Berliner Philharmoniker in February and December 2013 and performed with them instead of Rattle at the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival in 2014 in the Redefin State Stud .

On March 8, 2013 Dudamel conducted the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra (before the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra) on the occasion of the funeral of President Hugo Chávez .

On January 1, 2017, he conducted the 2017 New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic . At almost 36 years of age, Dudamel was the youngest conductor of the New Year's concert to date.

Gustavo Dudamel was unable to tour his native Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2017 and was unable to give a commemorative concert for José Antonio Abreu in 2018 after asking President Maduro to hear the voice of the people after years of standing still to do so to protect the orchestra. The Guardian wrote that the orchestra had been taken over by government policy. A further collaboration with the orchestra seemed impossible under this government.

Dudamel is considered a “symbol of a unique enthusiasm for classical music in his country”.

Private life

Dudamel and his former wife Eloísa Maturén shortly after their wedding (2006)

In 2006 Dudamel married his long-time girlfriend, the Venezuelan ballet dancer and journalist Eloísa Knife Maturén. Her son Martín was born on April 1, 2011 in Los Angeles and is therefore an American citizen. The couple has been divorced since 2015. In early 2017 he married the actress María Valverde .


  • Torsten Eßer: Symphony of the Street. The Venezuelan Youth Orchestra Movement. In: Matices. Journal on Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Volume 10, No. 39 (2003), pp. 55-56, ISSN  0948-7557 .
  • Peter Moormann: Gustavo Dudamel. Repertoire - interpretation - reception. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2019, ISBN 978-3-515-10862-1 .


  • Maestro wanted. Documentation of the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition 2004. Director: Reinhold Jaretzky , Zauberbergfilm, Berlin 2004, 60 min.
  • Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Observations from the guest performance in the city of Mozart. "Salsa in Salzburg". TV report, Germany, 2008, 94 min., Director: Agnes Meth, Martin Schneider, production: ZDF , arte , first broadcast: September 22, 2008, summary by arte.
    At the Salzburg Festival in 2008, the orchestra was invited over for a week for a guest performance. In addition to music excerpts from rehearsals and concerts (Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven's Triple Concerto ), interviews will be conducted with Gustavo Dudamel, Martha Argerich , Renaud Capuçon , Gautier Capuçon and Nikolaus Harnoncourt .
  • The musical wonder of Caracas. From the poor district to the concert hall. Documentation, Germany, 2007, 30 min., Director: Peter Puhlmann, production: SWR , summary ( memento from May 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  • El Sistema, documentary from 2009, directed by Paul Smaczny, Maria Stodtmeier, in coproduction with arte france / SVT / NHK.
  • Libertador , feature film about Simón Bolívar, 2013.

Web links

Commons : Gustavo Dudamel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Reed Johnson: Conductor Gustavo Dudamel is riding a wave of Dudamania. In: Los Angeles Times . November 23, 2008, accessed February 7, 2015.
  2. Pope Benedict received well-wishers. In: Vorarlberger Nachrichten . April 16, 2007.
  3. a b About Gustavo. Website by Gustavo Dudamel. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  4. Philharmonic orchestras inspire in the Waldbühne. In: Berliner Morgenpost . January 26, 2009.
  5. About the Conductor Gustavo Dudamel ( Memento from October 9, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, October 18, 2009.
  6. Time to take a stand for Venezuela's El Sistema. In: The Guardian . 23rd August 2017.
  7. ^ Gustavo Dudamel: The exiled star conductor of the revolution. In: Deutsche Welle . June 28, 2018.
  8. In the beat of passion. In: FAS . August 22, 2007.
  9. ↑ Are you in a good mood? Thats my job! In: Tagesspiegel . March 26, 2009.
  10. ^ LA Phil's Gustavo Dudamel, Wife Welcome First Child. CBS Los Angeles, accessed February 7, 2015.
  11. Jeffrey Fleishman, Mike Boehm, David Ng: Gustavo Dudamel's LA Phil deal reverberates across classical music world. In: Los Angeles Times . March 27, 2015.
  12. ^ María Valverde se casa con el director de orquesta Gustavo Dudamel. In: El País . March 14, 2017.