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  • LAPA
  • Sep. 22, 2016

    Los Angeles, CA (September 22, 2016) - This evening, Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel delivered the keynote speech at a private dinner in Washington, DC to honor the 2015 National Medal of Arts recipients and National Humanities Medalists who received their awards from President Barack Obama at the White House earlier in the day. Along with the honorees, those who attended the dinner included the honorees' families as well as Washington, DC leaders and dignitaries.

    A wind quintet composed of members of the LA Phil's Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) also performed at the dinner, playing arrangements of Gershwin's Prelude No. 1 and Abreu's Tico-Tico no Fubá. Performing in the quintet were:

    Daniel Egwurube, Age 19, Flute, YOLA at EXPO Center Alumnus
    Andy Gonzalez, Age 13, Horn, YOLA at EXPO Center
    John Gonzalez, Age 16, Bassoon, YOLA at HOLA
    Alice Morales, Age 18, Oboe, YOLA at EXPO Center Alumnus
    Dameon Williams, Age 17, Clarinet, YOLA at EXPO Center

    The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and art patrons by the United States government, awarded to individuals or groups who are deserving of special recognition because of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the U.S. The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities and broadened citizens' engagement with history, literature, languages, philosophy, and other humanities subjects. The awardees can be found here.

    Gustavo Dudamel's keynote speech honoring the 2015 National Medal of Arts recipients and National Humanities Medalists can be viewed here.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music Director & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres - orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop - at two of L.A.'s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil's season extends from September through June at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.

    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, and 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 he enters his eighth season as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel's contract has been extended to the end of the 2021/2022 season. At his initiative, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has dramatically expanded the scope of its community outreach programs, including most notably the creation of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by the philosophy of Venezuela's admired El Sistema, which encourages 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). As Music Director, his 18th season, of the entire El Sistema project in Venezuela, he 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.  

    Launched in the Fall of 2007, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) - inspired by Venezuela's visionary El Sistema that nurtured Gustavo Dudamel - is the LA Phil's unprecedented initiative to establish youth orchestra programs in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. With community partners, the YOLA program provides free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. About to begin its tenth year, YOLA will serve nearly 800 students in three programs: YOLA at EXPO, YOLA at HOLA, and YOLA at LACHSA, and reaches thousands more young people through YOLA-inspired music education residencies in 15 elementary schools that surround YOLA sites. For more information please visit


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