Gustavo Dudamel, the music and artistic director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009, will leave the organization in 2026 to assume the same position with the New York Philharmonic, it was announced Tuesday.
“Today, above all, I am grateful,” Dudamel, 42, said in a statement released by the New York Philharmonic. “I am grateful to the musicians and leadership of the New York Philharmonic as we embark upon this new and beautiful journey together. As the great poet Federico García Lorca said: `Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world.’
“I gaze with joy and excitement at the world that lies before me in New York City,” he said.
Dudamel has previously conducted 26 concerts with the New York Philharmonic, dating back to 2007. He will conduct three performances in New York May 19-21 of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, according to the NY Phil.
“This is a dream come true for our musicians, our audience, and certainly for me,” NY Phil President/CEO Deborah Borda said in a statement. “The coming together of a great orchestra, a visionary music and artistic director, and our transformed hall promises the richest of futures.”
Dudamel, a Venezuela native, also currently serves as the music director of the Opéra Simón Bolívar National de Paris and Symphony Orchestra.
His flamboyant style as a conductor and passion for music is credited with leading a resurgence of the LA Phil and enhancing access to music for youth and under-served communities.
“Since he first took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl as the music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2009, Gustavo’s passion and musicianship have thrilled millions of people around the world,” LA Phil CEO Chad Smith said in a statement.
“From programming some of the most ambitious works ever staged, inspiring the orchestra to reach new levels of artistry, expanding the limits of Walt Disney Concert Hall, and demonstrating the power of music to change people’s lives through YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), Gustavo has left indelible marks on classical music, the LA Phil and Los Angeles. We are deeply proud of what we have achieved, and will continue to, under his guidance.
“From our earliest days, the LA Phil has been a trailblazer, boldly embracing the new, welcoming the world’s greatest artists to our stages and redefining the role of an orchestra in our community. The search for our next music director will be conducted with this same spirit as we define the future of our organization,” Smith said.
Dudamel’s personality led to him transcending the world of classical music, crossing into the world of Hollywood with voice roles in the film “Trolls World Tour” and “The Simpsons,” and appearances in the series “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Sesame Street.”
He conducted the score for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story,” and also conducted the opening and closing credit scores for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” He also led the LA Phil in a 2019 performance at the Academy Awards. In addition, Dudamel conducted the LA Phil in performances with Christina Aguilera and Billie Eilish and Finneas.
Born Jan. 26, 1981, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, the son of a trombonist and a singing teacher, Dudamel began reading scores by the time he was 10 years old.
He is a product of “El Sistema,” Venezuela’s acclaimed youth program of immersive musical training. When he was 12, he was hired as an assistant conductor with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra in Barquisimeto.
Dudamel won a Grammy in 2012 for best orchestral performance for conducting “Brahms: Symphony No. 4.” In 2016, Dudamel became the first classical musician to participate in the Super Bowl halftime show, conducting members of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.