Dudamel, Gustavo, 1981–, Venezuelan conductor and violinist. A product of Venezuela's national music-training program, he quickly developed a brilliant, exuberant, and passionate conducting style that won him early notice. At 18 he led what is now Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, which he continues to conduct, and in 2004 he achieved international recognition by winning the first Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition. Named principal conductor of Sweden's Göteborg Symphony in 2006, Dudamel succeeded Esa-Pekka Salonen as musical director of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra in 2009.
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