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  • Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel to Visit Harvard University
  • Oct. 5, 2016
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic President Deborah Borda will Lead Public Forum with Dudamel at Harvard

    Los Angeles, CA, October 5, 2016 - The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Office for the Arts (OFA) at Harvard University announced today that Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will visit campus on November 6 and 7, 2016. During his two-day tour, Dudamel will lead a rehearsal with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and will sit for a public interview with Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and newly-appointed Hauser Visiting Leader at CPL. Borda previously served as a Harvard CPL Hauser Leader-in-Residence during her four-month sabbatical from the LA Phil in 2015. She is the first arts executive to have held that post.

    Details for Gustavo Dudamel's public program at Harvard:

    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7 | 4:00 p.m.
    The Creative Class: Gustavo Dudamel
    in Conversation with Deborah Borda, President and CEO, Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
    With special guests, the Longy Sistema Side by Side Orchestra
    Admission free with tickets required, limit two tickets per person. Available through the Harvard Box Office at Farkas Hall, 10-12 Holyoke St., Cambridge, beginning November 1 for Harvard students and affiliates in person or by phone, 617.496.2222; and November 3 for the general public in person, by phone, or online at

    Borda and Dudamel are widely credited with leading the most successful symphonic organization in the country, designing a forward-thinking and innovative approach to shaping the role of orchestras in the 21st century. Together, Borda and Dudamel have partnered to develop a portfolio of influential artistic and educational programs, including such high-profile initiatives as the in/SIGHT series, the most active commissioning program in the country and the El Sistema-inspired YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles).

    CPL Executive Director Patricia Bellinger remarked, "There is a commitment to social responsibility and innovation that is core to the Los Angeles Philharmonic's purpose. We feel incredibly fortunate at CPL and Harvard to continue our relationship with Deborah, and for our students to benefit from her leadership working at the highest level in the arts and corporate arenas.

    "Gustavo Dudamel is a master of his craft. This is an incredible opportunity for our students to not only experience his remarkable musicianship, but also learn from his wisdom and maturity as a teacher and leader," continued Bellinger.

    The LA Phil partners with Bard College and the Longy School of Music of Bard College to manage the national El Sistema-inspired initiative Take a Stand. Longy's Sistema Side by Side Orchestra - composed of student musicians from El Sistema programs across Massachusetts - will perform under the direction of Dudamel, a longtime music educator and himself a product of Venezuela's El Sistema program, on November 7. Following the performance Borda will lead a conversation with Dudamel focusing on his career and his vision of music as a means to a better world.

    "I am thrilled to be back at Harvard-this time with Gustavo Dudamel," said Deborah Borda. "The LA Phil prides itself on being an innovative and socially-engaged institution. We are inventing the future of music every day through our creative collaborations, use of technology, and YOLA, our El Sistema-inspired education program. Gustavo and I are looking forward to sharing these ideas with a Harvard audience, and hope to inspire creative thinking across all areas of public life."

    Prior to the public community event on November 7, Dudamel will engage the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra in rehearsal on the afternoon of November 6. Jack Megan, director of the Office for the Arts at Harvard, will open the event.

    "Gustavo Dudamel exemplifies excellence, innovation and the power of music to inspire, educate and build community," said Megan. "We are thrilled and honored that he will work with both our student musicians and members of Longy's Sistema orchestra, and participate in what promises to be a stimulating conversation with Deborah Borda."

    This will be the first engagement for Dudamel at Harvard, who was awarded the University's Q Prize in 2008 for extraordinary service to children. Borda's appointment with CPL will continue through Spring 2017.

    About Gustavo Dudamel

    As an internationally renowned symphonic and operatic conductor, Gustavo Dudamel is motivated by a profound belief in music's power to unite and inspire. He currently serves as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The impact of his leadership extends from the greatest concert stages to classrooms, cinemas and innovative digital platforms around the world. Dudamel also appears as guest conductor with some of the world's most famous musical institutions: in 2017, he tours Europe with the Berlin Philharmonic and is the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic's famous New Year's Day Concert, watched annually by over 50 million people in 90 countries.

    As Dudamel enters his eighth season as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, his contract has been extended to the end of the 2021/2022 season. At his initiative, the LA Phil has dramatically expanded the scope of its community outreach programs, including most notably the creation of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by the innovative philosophy and practice of Venezuela's admired El Sistema, whichencourages social development through music. With YOLA and diverse local educational initiatives, Dudamel brings music to children in underserved communities of Los Angeles. These programs have in turn inspired similar efforts throughout the United States, as well as in Sweden (Hammarkullen) and Scotland (Raploch).

    In his 18th season as Music Director of the entire El Sistema project in Venezuela, Dudamel continues to lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela, as well as on tour.

    A Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2005, Grammy-winner Gustavo Dudamel has numerous recordings on the label, as well as many video/DVD releases that capture the excitement of significant moments of his musical life.

    About Deborah Borda

    Deborah Borda's career has been distinguished by her creative leadership, commitment to innovation, and progressive outlook on the role of the orchestra in the 21st century. Prior to becoming President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2000, she was Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic for a decade, General Manager of the San Francisco Symphony, and President of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

    In Los Angeles, Borda designed an acclaimed business and curatorial plan, which restored the Philharmonic to robust artistic and fiscal health; oversaw the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall and the addition of a new shell to the Hollywood Bowl, the LA Phil's summer home; expanded artistic programming at both venues; and spearheaded the appointment of Gustavo Dudamel as Music Director. Under Borda's leadership, the LA Phil has made ambitious, forward-looking advances in its artistic and social objectives. The orchestra maintains the most active commissioning program in the country and has garnered international acclaim for its interdisciplinary productions and work with new technologies, including the VAN Beethoven mobile experience and Orchestra VR app, utilizing Oculus virtual reality headset technology. In the community, the orchestra has become a valued resource, offering such programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), which has become a model for effecting social change through music on a national stage.

    A Bennington/Royal College of Music alumna and a former professional violist, Borda is in demand internationally as a consultant and lecturer. In 2015 she became the first arts executive to join the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence. 


  • Contact:

    Lael Harris,, 617.496.6251
    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422
    Photos: 213.972.3034