Born on 26 January 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel was ten when he took up the violin, and was soon also studying composition. In 1996 he began his conducting studies with Rodolfo Saglimbeni, and during the same year was named music director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In 1999, he continued his conducting studies with José Antonio Abreu and was appointed music director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, an ensemble founded by Abreu that is widely recognized for its role in transforming the lives of tens of thousands of impoverished youths.
Described by Esa-Pekka Salonen as 'a conducting animal', Gustavo Dudamel is also in demand as a guest conductor and has worked with many of the world's most renowned orchestras and musicians. He is currently music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. In May 2007, Dudamel was awarded the Premio de la Latindad by the thirty seven Latin American and African member states of the Union Latina organization for his outstanding contributions to Latin cultural life.
Ensemble. Passion and Enthusiasm - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to an all-Beethoven programme from Gustavo Dudamel and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Ensemble. Major Joys - Los Angeles Philharmonic's 'The Marriage of Figaro' delights Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Thunderous Send Off - John Adams and Peter Sellars' 'The Gospel According to the Other Mary' begins a European tour, and impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Splendid Performance - Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, heard by Gregory Moomjy
Ensemble. Excellent Performance - Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic at the Movies, seen and heard by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
Ensemble. Unique and Moving - Mahler's Fifth Symphony - a self-metamorphosis from grief to ecstatic energy, by Giuseppe Pennisi