Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Masterclass with Gustavo Dudamel

picture from here

Gustavo Dudamel is a rock star. And on April 16, 2010, I will be playing under his baton. He is a 28-year old from Venezuela, and just became the new music director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He grew up as the child of musicians, and enrolled in El Sistema, Venezuela's state-financed music education program. After learning violin, he took up conducting and became the conductor for the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra (the top youth orchestra in the country). He is now starting to implement a program patterned after El Sistema in Los Angeles, encouraging youth to become involved in music. Public service and music? And that goodness. Too bad he's married. To a ballerina/journalist named Eloisa. It give me hope that I can be a scientist/educator when I grow up (otherwise known as, of course, the perfect combination of Bill Nye and Mrs. Frizzle).

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel is the recipient of the 2010 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. Dudamel, one of the country's most in-demand conductors, is music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He joins a select list of distinguished recipients of the Eugene McDermott Award, including architects Diller + Scofidio, writer Junot Diaz, architect Santiago Calatrava, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, and artist Isaac Julien. In addition to $75,000 cash prize, the recipient is offered a campus residency. (As part of his residency next April, Dudamel will visit the MIT Media Lab and conduct an open rehearsal with the MIT Symphony Orchestra on April 16, where President Susan Hockfield will present the award.) Said Dudamel: "You cannot imagine how excited I am to visit MIT and see the wonderful music program and the Media Lab first hand -- the next generation in music and technology all in one place!""

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