Gustavo Dudamel Named Next Music and Artistic Director of New York Philharmonic
Dudamel, 42, will succeed Jaap van Zweden in the role beginning in the 2026–27 season
The New York Philharmonic announced today that Gustavo Dudamel will become its 27th Music Director. After serving as Music Director Designate during the 2025–26 season, he'll hold the title of Music and Artistic Director of the NY Phil for an initial five-year term.
He will join the likes of previous NY Phil Music Directors including Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, and Leonard Bernstein — and will be the orchestra's first Hispanic leader since its founding in 1842.
The move to New York signals an end to an era at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, for which he currently serves as the Music & Artistic Director. He has held this role since 2009 and will continue to serve through the 2025/26 season.
"The LA Phil congratulates Gustavo Dudamel on his appointment as Music & Artistic Director of the New York Philharmonic starting in the 2026/27 seasons, and the beginning of a remarkable new chapter for Gustova and his family," the LA Phil wrote. "We are excited to continue working with Gustavo through our 2025/26 season, which will mark his 17th year with the LA Phil, and we will look forward to welcoming him back as a guest conductor for years to come."
In addition to his time in Los Angeles, Dudamel also serves Music Director of the Opéra National de Paris and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra.
He made his New York Philharmonic debut in November 2007, and to date, he has conducted the orchestra in 26 concerts.
“Today, above all, I am grateful," Dudamel stated. "I am grateful to the musicians and leadership of the New York Philharmonic as we embark upon this new and beautiful journey together; to my beloved family at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and YOLA for helping me to learn and grow through countless challenges and triumphs; and to my Maestro Abreu and the musicians of Venezuela who have been there with me since the beginning. As the great poet Federico García Lorca said: ‘Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world.’
"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," he continued. "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."
New York Philharmonic's president and chief executive Deborah Borda, was integral in getting Dudamel to New York. She previously signed him to the Los Angeles Philharmonic when she served as the leader of the California-based orchestra.
"This is a dream come true for our musicians, our audience, and certainly for me," Borda said. "The coming together of a great orchestra, a visionary Music and Artistic Director, and our transformed hall promises the richest of futures."
Born in 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Dudamel first studied conducting with Rodolfo Saglimbeni. In 1999, at age 18, he was appointed Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, composed of graduates of the El Sistema program. The latter Venezuelan musical training program later inspired Dudamel and the LA Phil to create YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) in 2007 — which provides 1,500 young people with free instruments, intensive music instruction, academic support, and leadership training.
Gaining international attention when he won the inaugural Bamberger Symphoniker Gustav Mahler Competition in 2004, Dudamel went on to become the music director of the Gothenburg Symphony (2007–2012), where he now holds the title of Honorary Conductor.
His discography, many of which are Grammy Award-winning, includes 65 releases. His numerous awards include Spain’s 2020 Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts, the 2019 Konex Foundation Classical Music Award, Distinguished Artist Award from the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), and the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award in 2016, to name a few.
He co-chairs The Dudamel Foundation with his wife, actress, and director María Valverde. Founded in 2012, its aim is “to expand access to music and the arts for young people by providing tools and opportunities to shape their creative futures.”
New York Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin said on behalf of the Orchestra, “The musicians of the New York Philharmonic are delighted by the news of Gustavo Dudamel’s commitment to New York. Each time he takes the podium we feel an extraordinary connection with him. This moment aligns with the unparalleled artistic tradition of this nation’s oldest orchestra. We look forward to sharing our deepening musical relationship with audiences both in our revitalized David Geffen Hall and on tour around the world.”