• McDermott Award winner Gustavo Dudamel meets MIT President Susan Hockfeld before the April 16 award presentation.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • Gustavo Dudamel with Council for the Arts member Eran Egozy, MIT '95, co-founder and chief technical officer of Harmonix Music Systems, creators of the original Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and The Beatles Rock Band.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • Dudamel with Professor of Music and Media Tod Machover, demonstrating a robot and musical software created in the Media Lab.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • Council for the Arts Chair Brit d'Arbeloff MIT '61 presents the 2010 McDermott Award in the Arts to Gustavo Dudamel, as MIT President Susan Hockfield looks on.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • When the maestro speaks, students listen.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • An upbeat from Gustavo Dudamel inspires the MIT Symphony Orchestra in a public rehearsal on April 16.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • Projectors helped the overflow Kresge Audience see the students respond to McDermott Award winner Gustavo Dudamel's direction.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • A rear projection gives the Kresge Audience a close up view as McDermott Award winner Gustavo Dudamel works with the MIT Symphony Orchestra.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • The French horn section (Vanessa Gardner, Peter James, Jared Krueger and others) responds to Dudamel's direction.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • Freshman violinist Shelby Heinecke concentrates as Dudamel conducts the students in the MIT Symphony Orchestra.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • An energetic Gustavo Dudamel leads the MIT Symphony Orchestra.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • The capacity crowd in Kresge Auditorium shows their appreciation for Dudamel and the students of MITSO.

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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  • Gustavo Dudamel surrounded by exuberant members of MITSO following the Friday night rehearsal

    Photo: L. Barry Hetherington

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Slideshow: Gustavo Dudamel makes whirlwind visit to MIT

Conducts, hosts rehearsal as part of McDermott Award weekend


Venezuelan composer Gustavo Dudamel — conductor of Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in Caracas, the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and one of the most sought-after conductors worldwide came to MIT April 16-17 to accept the $75,000 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts presented by the Council for the Arts at MIT. In accepting the award, Dudamel took part in a whirlwind of activities on campus.

While at MIT, Dudamel led the MIT Symphony Orchestra in a public rehearsal of Mozart's Symphony No. 38 ("Prague") and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol," and he joined MIT professors John Harbison and Tod Machover in a panel discussion moderated by PBS journalist Maria Hinojosa on music as a social and educational project highlighting El Sistema and Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

"Dudamel gave the orchestra an insightful, honest and helpful dose of what it's like to work with a world-class conductor," Keith Powers reported in The Boston Herald. "His suggestions and musical insights ranged from the quality of sostenuto to how to eat a hamburger, and every word of it got soaked up. The players were well prepared and certainly capable, and by the end of the session were playing with a quite sophisticated understanding of the potential in seemingly simple Mozartean phrases."

Graduate student Aravind Ratnam blogged about the rehearsal, writing, "Today's MIT Symphony Orchestra rehearsal conducted by Gustavo Dudamel was nothing short of spectacular ... Gustavo's face is euphoric with the reflection of the sun coming up. It is spring and you can almost smell the flowers ... I was on cloud nine throughout. It is not very often that I am moved to tears."


Topics: Arts, Music, Special events and guest speakers

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