The New York Philharmonic has announced Gustavo Dudamel will be their next Music and Artistic Director, taking the podium in 2026, following Jaap van Zweden, and continuing in the footsteps of Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein. You can tune into KUSC for a new season of SoCal Sunday Night: LA Phil from Walt Disney Concert Hall starting April 2nd. We’ll have more reflections on where Dudamel has taken the orchestra then, but we asked Brian Lauritzen, who hosts Classical California’s LA Phil broadcasts for his initial reaction:
The news of Gustavo Dudamel’s impending departure as Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic hit me today with a mix of equal parts sadness, appreciation, and excitement. Sadness to have to say goodbye to an artist who has meant so much to our region for the past 17 years. Appreciation for the myriad ways in which Dudamel has expanded classical music access to so many individuals who wouldn’t have it otherwise. And excitement both to see what he will create in New York and for what’s next at the LA Phil, an orchestra which is always looking forward.
I started hosting the Los Angeles Philharmonic radio broadcasts during Esa-Pekka Salonen’s final season as music director. KUSC aired Salonen’s final concerts live and we were there backstage at the Hollywood Bowl for Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural performance as the LA Phil’s music director in 2009. It has been an immense privilege for me personally to have a backstage pass to his entire tenure at the LA Phil and to share that with our audience here at Classical California KUSC. I look forward to continuing to bring you great performances by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil during his three-year farewell tour.
Brian Lauritzen and co-host Dennis Bartel interview Gustavo Dudamel backstage at his first official LA Phil concert in 2009 at the Hollywood Bowl.
Brian gives Dudamel a KUSC swag bag after a live broadcast that happened to fall on the conductor’s birthday.