Gustavo Dudamel directs 'The Schumann Connection' in New York, in March 2022.Chris Lee
Gustavo Dudamel jumps from coast to coast.
The New York Philharmonic has announced this Tuesday that the Venezuelan conductor will become its musical and artistic director as of 2025. With this news, the musician closes his stage in Los Angeles, the city that gave him his first opportunity in the United States and where he deepened a transformation that made the local orchestra a cultural reference.
The one from New York, the oldest orchestra in the country, now receives a mature but young talent that will occupy the podium previously used by Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Mahler and Arturo Toscanini.
In addition, he will combine the position with that of musical director of the Paris Opera, where he signed in 2021 for six seasons.
Dudamel, who will be the 27th conductor of an orchestra founded in 1842, will be introduced to New Yorkers on Monday, February 20.
It will be the first contact.
His contract, for five years, will start running in the 2026-2027 season.
A year before, however, he will serve as designated music director.
The director takes the baton from the Dutchman Jaap van Zweden, who came to the position in 2018 in the midst of a chaotic period for the Philharmonic due to financial difficulties and a renewal of its main executives.
"My time with the LA Phil has been and will continue to be the most transformative period of my life," Dudamel assured EL PAÍS.
“Here I learned and grew like never before.
Together we have created something truly unique and beautiful.
Not only with the orchestra but in the community that we have built around us”, indicates the native of Barquisimeto.
"All change is always accompanied by a sense of loss, but I feel that in the years to come we have everything to gain," he adds.
Don't go into unknown territory.
Dudamel has been invited to lead the New York formation in 26 concerts.
The first was in November 2007, before he was even named in Los Angeles.
He chose for that recital works by Dvorak, Prokofiev and the first movements of Carlos Chávez's Indian Symphony, which had not been played at Lincoln Center since 1961, when Leonard Bernstein chose the piece.
The director has made history in Los Angeles.
His energetic conducting style first drew attention in 2004. Ernest Fleischmann, the executive director of the Los Angeles orchestra, and Finn Esa-Pekka Salonen, the music director at the time, were captivated by the charismatic 24-year-old with curly hair and exaggerated gestures, who won the musical direction contest in Bamberg, Germany, for which they were juries.
Salonen, who received the baton from Andre Previn, knew then that he had found his successor.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic was the first to offer him a podium in the United States.
It was in 2005, barely a year after the triumph in the Bavarian city and just when the Deutsche Grammophon label had just signed him.
Dudamel drove into the towering Hollywood Bowl, an 18,000-capacity outdoor space.
He chose La noche de los mayas
, by Silvestre Revueltas,
as his letter of introduction .
Two years later he repeated at the head of the orchestra, but this time at the Walt Disney Hall.
In 2009 he was appointed musical and artistic director of this formation.
He was the first Latino to direct it in one of the cities with the most Hispanics in the United States.
Its premiere was called "Welcome, Gustavo!"
and it was a free concert, again at the Bowl, where he performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with a hundred children from the Los Angeles youth orchestra, YOLA, for its acronym in English.
This Tuesday, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced that it is beginning the search for a new musical director who will continue in Dudamel's wake in search of new paths and who will adopt the world's sound innovations.
Upon his arrival in Los Angeles, Dudamel found a helping hand, that of Deborah Borda.
The daughter of a Colombian, she was the first woman in the United States to be executive director of an orchestra.
She got it in 1991 with the New York Philharmonic.
She later held the same position in Los Angeles, where she became the great architect of the cultural giant that is the orchestra today.
She was in charge for 17 years, a period where she multiplied by five the donations received by the organization, which averages a budget of 200 million dollars.
This made her especially attractive to the New York Philharmonic, who signed her again in 2017. Just months after her arrival, she showcased her power by raising $50 million.
In June, Borda will leave the presidency of the institution, although she will continue as a special advisor focused on collection.
“This is a dream come true for our musicians, for our audience and for me,” Borda said of her friend's arrival in New York.
I take over from her in her position, Gary Ginstling, has indicated that with the arrival of Dudamel the Philharmonic opens "one of the most exciting chapters" of its history.