Conductor Gustavo Dudamel named 2010 recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT
Open Rehearsal with the MIT Symphony Orchestra and panel discussion moderated by Maria Hinojosa to mark Gustavo Dudamel's award and residency at MIT in April 2010.The Council for the Arts at MIT is pleased to announce that Conductor Gustavo Dudamel is the recipient of the 2010 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, an award celebrating rising, innovative talents in the arts and one of the most generous arts honors in the U.S. The announcement will be officially made at the Council’s 37th Annual Meeting tonight. Dudamel, who in just a few years has become one of the most sought-after conductors, began his tenure as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in September 2009 and conducted his first concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 8, 2009. He joins a select list of distinguished recipients of the Eugene McDermott Award such as architects Diller + Scofidio and writer Junot Diaz, many of whom were still rising to prominence in their fields at the time of their Award. Other recipients include architect Santiago Calatrava, playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and artist Isaac Julien.
Upon learning about the award, Gustavo Dudamel said:
"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! Of course, it is beautiful and I am deeply honored that MIT has coupled this with the prestigious McDermott prize, which I will use to further support my "next generation" projects in the field of music and education."
Beyond a $75,000 cash prize, the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT offers its recipient a campus residency. The goal of the residency is to provide unparalleled access to the creative energy and cutting-edge research found in the MIT community and to connect the recipient with departments, laboratories and research centers throughout the Institute in ways that are mutually enlightening. As part of his own residency, which will take place in April 2010, Gustavo Dudamel will visit the MIT Media Lab and conduct an Open Rehearsal with the MIT Symphony Orchestra on Friday evening, April 16, 2010, where President Susan Hockfield will present the award. The next afternoon, he will take part in a panel discussion with Institute Professor John Harbison and Professor of Music and Media Tod Machover, moderated by journalist Maria Hinojosa. A celebratory dinner will follow in the newly expanded Media Lab building designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Fumihiko Maki, held on the evening of Saturday April 17th, 2010. Further details on the program of the residency will be announced in January 2010.
As one of the most exciting and compelling conductors of our time, Gustavo Dudamel has just begun his tenure at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the fall 2009. He does so following guest appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic, and while continuing as Music Director of the Gothenburg Symphony and entering his eleventh year as Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. His infectious energy and exceptional artistry have made him one of the most dynamic conductors at work today, and he also is being recognized for his contributions to El Sistema. A remarkable system of classical music instruction for young people, especially those from underserved and impoverished areas in Venezuela, El Sistema nurtured his talent and he continues to devote himself to it today. Dudamel considers it his mission to bring classical music to young people, especially disadvantaged youth, and thus created YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), a community movement through the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which puts instruments into the hands of children and teaches them about community through orchestral interaction.
Brought to international attention by triumphing in the inaugural Bamberger Symphoniker Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in May 2004, Gustavo Dudamel was born in 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, where he studied violin at the Jacinto Lara Conservatory with José Luis Jiménez and later, with José Francisco del Castillo, at the Latin American Academy of Violin. In 1996, he began his conducting studies with Rodolfo Saglimbeni and that same year was named Music Director of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. In 1999, along with assuming the Music Director position of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, he began conducting studies with José Antonio Abreu, the Orchestra’s founder. In May 2007, Dudamel was awarded the Premio de la Latinidad, an honor given for outstanding contributions to Latin cultural life. In 2008, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra was granted Spain’s prestigious annual Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, and in 2007, Dudamel received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Young Artists. Along with his mentor Dr. Abreu, he was granted the 2008 “Q Prize” from Harvard University for extraordinary service to children. Most recently, in June 2009, he received an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Centro-Occidental Lisandro Alvarado in his hometown of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Gustavo Dudamel was named one of the 100 most influential people of 2009 by TIME magazine and has been featured twice on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
About the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts
Established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT, The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT recognizes rising, innovative talents and offers its recipient a $75,000 cash prize and a campus residency. One of the most generous arts honors in the US, the Award is bestowed upon individuals whose artistic trajectory and body of work indicate that will achieve the highest distinction and become leaders in their fields. The Award reflects MIT’s commitment to risk-taking, problem solving, and to the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines. It also provides the recipient unparalleled access to the talent and research that abound in the MIT community. The Award honors Eugene McDermott, cofounder of Texas Instruments and long-time friend and benefactor of MIT.
About the Council for the Arts at MIT
The Council for the Arts at MIT is a volunteer group of alumni and friends who support the visual, literary, and performing arts at MIT. Since its founding in 1972 by MIT President Jerome B. Wiesner, the Council for the Arts at MIT has bestowed the award upon 33 individuals who work in performing, visual, and media arts, as well as authors, art historians, and patrons of the arts. Appointed by the President of MIT to three-year terms, Council members continuously fulfill their mission “to foster the arts at MIT and to act as a catalyst for the development of a broadly based, highly participatory program in the arts.”