Conductor Gustavo Dudamel is leaving his post as the Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic after 14 years to take the same position at the New York Philharmonic. The move will come in 2026 when his contract ends in L.A. And it makes this Venezuelan conductor, the first Latino to hold the position since the New York Philharmonic played its first concert in 1842.
“I gaze with joy and excitement at the world that lies before me in New York City, and with pride and love at the world I have shared – and will continue to share – with my dear Angelenos over the next three seasons and beyond,” Dudamel said in a statement. “All of us are united in our belief that culture creates a better world, and in our dream that music is a fundamental right. I look forward to the work ahead.”
In a joint statement, Peter May and Oscar Tang, co-chairmen of the New York Philharmonic, said they were “thrilled” to be welcoming Dudamel to their orchestra.
“Building on this orchestra’s great legacy, [Dudamel] joins a historic list of distinguished Music Directors,” they said. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are delighted that [he] has said yes to leading our artistic future.”
Born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, in 1981, Dudamel began playing violin at the age of 10. In 1999, he became the music director of the national youth orchestra of Venezuela, known as the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. In 2015, legendary Oscar-winning composer John Williams (Star Wars) tapped Dudamel to conduct the opening and end titles for the official motion picture soundtrack of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In 2021, along with his duties in L.A., he took on the role of the music director of the Paris Opera.
Gary Ginstling, Executive Director and incoming President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic added: “With Gustavo Dudamel, the Philharmonic is poised for what I believe will be one of the most exciting chapters in its storied history.”