Gustavo Dudamel Extends Contract as Music Director of L.A. Philharmonic

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simon Bolivar National Youth Orchestra during a concert at Berkeley University in San Francisco, California on Nov. 30, 2012.

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel will remain music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic through the 2021/22 season and is adding the title of artistic director in recognition of his commitment to the orchestra.

One of the most sought-after conductors in classical music, Dudamel is ostensibly taking himself out of the running for two significant soon-to-open jobs: music director of the New York Philharmonic and chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. His name has been bandied about as a contender for both of those jobs.

 “Gustavo’s passionate leadership has instilled a new sense of possibility among our musicians, our audiences, and our community,” L.A. Philharmonic Association president and CEO Deborah Borda said in a statement.  “His all-embracing vision propels us forward to the L.A. Phil’s centenary celebration and beyond, and exemplifies the institution’s commitment to innovation and access for all.”

Borda announced the contract extension in Tokyo during the orchestra’s first tour of Asia under Dudamel.

Dudamel, 34, came to Los Angeles from Venezuela in 2009 when he started a five-year contract as music director. That contract was extended in March 2011 to run through the 2018/19 centennial season. 

Besides his L.A. job, Dudamel continues to be the music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in his native of Venezuela. In Los Angeles, he has overseen the creation of Yola, Youth Orchestra L.A., based on El Sistema.

“As I look to the future and how I want to focus my work, it's become clear that it is about a deepening of commitments to my two musical families -- my beloved El Sistema, and this great orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic," Dudamel said in a statement. “We have an unparalleled situation in the world of classical music today.”



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