Gustavo Dudamel named musician of the year by Musical America

Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in October at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Dudamel has been named musician of the year by the online publication Musical America.
(Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

Gustavo Dudamel has been named musician of the year by Musical America, an online publication that covers classical music, and his photograph will grace the cover of its annual printed international directory of the performing arts for 2013.

“Rarely has a young artist captured the public fancy so completely,” Sedgwick Clark, editor of the Musical America Directory, said in an article on the Musical America website. Clark said that Dudamel’s selection was sealed as far back as 2011, when it became known that Carnegie Hall was planning a Voices from Latin America festival for the fall.

The monthlong festival begins Thursday with a concert by Gilberto Gil, and Dudamel, 31, will be part of it, conducting the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Dec. 10-11 and taking part in a Dec. 8 panel discussion about El Sistema, Venezuela’s acclaimed training program for young musicians that counts him as its most famous graduate.


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Dudamel will receive his award in a ceremony Dec. 6 at New York’s Lincoln Center – as will the other honorees, including his mentor, El Sistema founder Jose Antonio Abreu, who is Musical America’s educator of the year.

David Lang is composer of the year, pipa player Wu Man is instrumentalist of the year, and Joyce DiDonato is vocalist of the year.

Dudamel becomes the second Los Angeles Philharmonic music director to be named Musical America’s musician of the year. His predecessor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, won in 2006. Zubin Mehta was picked in 1980, after his Phil tenure had ended. The musician of the year honors have been given since 1960.


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