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IDB honors Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel for his cultural and social work

Acclaimed musical director of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will deliver the Enrique V. Iglesias Lecture for Culture and Development

Venezuelan composer and musical director Gustavo Dudamel will deliver the Enrique V. Iglesias Lecture for Culture and Development on December 14, created by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to outstanding humanists for their contributions to the arts in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Director of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel was selected by a committee made up of IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno; former IDB president and ex-Iberoamerican secretary general Enrique V. Iglesias; Chilean Culture Minister Ernesto Ottone; Nicaraguan novelist and poet Gioconda Belli and Peruvian-American author and publisher Marie Arana, in recognition of his artistic achievements and philanthropic work aimed at helping young people through music.

Son of a trombone player and a singing teacher, Dudamel began to study music when he was just four years old. He soon joined the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras and Choirs (widely known as El Sistema), an acclaimed Venezuelan musical training program for children of all social classes that has inspired similar initiatives around the world. The founder of El Sistema, José Antonio Abreu, soon became Dudamel's mentor.

From a very young age, Dudamel showed great talent as a conductor, first in Venezuela and then on many international stages. As a guest director he has given concerts or recorded with great orchestras such as the philharmonics of Berlin, Israel, New York and Vienna, and the symphonies of Birmingham, Chicago, Dresden, Gothenburg, San Francisco and Stuttgart.

Despite his busy schedule, Dudamel has always made time for the youths and children of El Sistema, to whom he dedicates 25 weeks of the year, in cities across Venezuela and on international tours. He has applied many lessons learned to his work with the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and similar programs in Scotland and Sweden.

Over the course of his career Dudamel has received many awards, ranging from a Grammy to a Prince of Asturias prize in Spain to being named a knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France.

Dudamel will deliver his lecture in the IDB’s main auditorium at 1330 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C. from 6 pm to 7 pm. Journalists wishing to cover the event should register by writing to Helga Flores at

The Enrique V. Iglesias Lecture was created in 2012. In previous years, the Lecture was given by Iglesias himself and Brazilian writer Nélida Piñón.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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