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Gustavo Dudamel leaving L.A for New York Phil

By Michael Vincent on February 13, 2023

Gustavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel (Photo courtesy of the L.A. Philharmonic)

Gustavo Dudamel, a 41-year-old Venezuelan conductor known for his charisma and skill, has been named music and artistic director of the New York Philharmonic starting 2026-27.

Dudamel, who has been the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009, will become the 28th music director of the New York Phil.

Dudamel’s appointment comes after a years-long search by the New York Phil for a new music director following the expected departure of Jaap van Zweden later this year.

Dream candidate

  • Gustavo Dudamel is considered one of the most dynamic conductors of his generation, and his appointment represents a significant coup for the New York Phil.
  • Like many orchestras, the New York Phil has struggled to replace its rapidly aging audience demographic in recent years. 
  • It’s hoped that Dudamel’s unique ability to connect with young audiences and musicians alike will transfer to New York and usher in a new era of prosperity.

New York legacy 

Founded in 1842, the New York Phil is one of New York City’s oldest institutions. It has a long history of attracting some of the best conductors in the world, including Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, George Szell, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and most recently, Jaap van Zweden.

What’s next? 

Jaap van Zweden is expected to end his six-year tenure at the New York Phil after the 2023-24 season.

Because Dudamel extended his contract with Los Angeles just before the pandemic through 2025-26, New York will have to wait three years before he officially starts. He is also expected to continue as the music director of the Paris Opera and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, roles he has held since 2021 and 1999, respectively.

Michael Vincent
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