Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director and Conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot
The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) was founded by José Antonio Abreu. Under the music direction of Gustavo Dudamel, its members have been trained under El Sistema's orchestral academic program, and have performed under conductors of international stature who have included Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Krzysztof Penderecki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Lorin Maazel. Between 2000 and 2015, the SBSOV toured Europe, Asia, and the Americas, appearing at festivals such as the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Semperoper Dresden, Carnegie Hall's Berlin in Lights and Voices from Latin America festivals, the Lucerne and Salzburg festivals, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Immortal Beethoven festival. The SBSOV has also performed in various world-class venues that include Royal Festival Hall in London, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Milan's Teatro alla Scala, Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
The SBSOV has been resident orchestra at the Lucerne Festival at Easter; at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of The Mahler Project, in which Mr. Dudamel led Mahler's completed symphonies with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the SBSOV in Los Angeles and in Caracas; the Salzburg Festival, where it became the first foreign orchestra to perform Mozart's Mass in C Minor in St. Peter's Abbey; and at Teatro alla Scala, where the orchestra gave three concerts and eight performances of La bohème, becoming the first orchestra not based at Teatro alla Scala to be featured by the prestigious opera house in one of its productions of La bohème.
The SBSOV and Mr. Dudamel are exclusive artists of Deutsche Grammophon, with which they have recorded Beethoven's Fifth and Seventh symphonies and Mahler's Fifth Symphony, a successful album titled Fiesta, and an album of works by Tchaikovsky that features the Fifth Symphony and Francesca da Rimini. In 2013, the SBSOV recorded the soundtrack of Alberto Arvelo's film El libertador under the baton of Mr. Dudamel, who composed the music. A year later, they recorded excerpts from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela gratefully acknowledges the generous support provided by the Hilti Foundation with the purchase of instruments.
Internationally renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel currently serves as music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and as music director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. He is motivated by a profound belief in music's power to unite and inspire, and the impact of his leadership extends from the greatest concert stages to classrooms, cinemas, and innovative digital platforms around the world. Mr. Dudamel also appears as guest conductor with some of the world's most famous musical institutions: In 2017, he tours Europe with the Berliner Philharmoniker and is the youngest-ever conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's famous New Year's Concert, watched annually by more than 50 million people in 90 countries.
Now entering his eighth season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Dudamel's contract has been extended through the 2021-2022 season. At his initiative, the orchestra has dramatically expanded the scope of its community outreach programs, including the creation of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) 10 years ago, influenced by the philosophy of Venezuela's admired El Sistema. These programs have in turn inspired similar efforts throughout the United States, as well as in Sweden (Hammarkullen) and Scotland (Raploch). Currently in his 18th season as music director of the entire El Sistema project in Venezuela, Mr. Dudamel continues to lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela as well as on tour.
Recordings, broadcasts, and digital innovations are also fundamental to Mr. Dudamel's passionate advocacy for universal access to music. A Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2005, he has made numerous recordings, DVDs, and videos for the label.
Among the most decorated conductors of his generation, Mr. Dudamel received the Americas Society Cultural Achievement Award in 2016, and the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society from the Longy School. In 2013, he was named Musical America's Musician of the Year and inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. He received the 2010 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts from MIT, was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2009, has been named one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people, and received the 2008 Q Prize from Harvard. Mr. Dudamel was born in 1981 in Venezuela. Access to music for all has been the cornerstone of his philosophy, both professionally and philanthropically.
For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed worldwide, recorded over 50 albums, and built a reputation as one today's finest pianists. He plays a range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire, from Beethoven through Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Khachaturian, and Gershwin, as well as contemporary composers such as Qigang Chen and James MacMillan.
Mr. Thibaudet's recordings have received two Grammy Award nominations, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d'Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, Gramophone and ECHO awards, and the Edison Prize. This season, he records Leonard Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety" Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop. In 2016, on the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie's birth, Decca released a box set of Satie's complete solo piano music performed by Mr. Thibaudet, among the foremost interpreters and champions of the composer's works. On his Grammy-nominated recording of Saint-Saëns's piano concertos nos. 2 and 5, released in 2007, he is joined by longstanding collaborator Charles Dutoit and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Mr. Thibaudet's recording Aria: Opera without Words, which was released the same year, features aria transcriptions, some of which are Mr. Thibaudet's own. His other recordings include the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations with Bill Evans.
Mr. Thibaudet was born in Lyon, France, where he began his piano studies at age five. At 12, he entered the Conservatoire de Paris to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age 15, he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire, and three years later won the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York City. Among his numerous commendations is the Victoire d'honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honor given by France's Victoires de la Musique. In 2010, the Hollywood Bowl honored Mr. Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame. Previously a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Mr. Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.
Cynthia Millar studied the ondes Martenot first with John Morton in England and later with Jeanne Loriod. She first performed Messiaen's Turangalîla-symphonie at the BBC Proms in London with Sir Mark Elder and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras under conductors who include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Andrew Davis, André Previn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Edo de Waart, Leonard Slatkin, Yan Pascal Tortelier, David Robertson, Kent Nagano, Franz Welser-Möst, Mark Wigglesworth, Matthias Bamert, Donald Runnicles, Ilan Volkov, and Mariss Jansons. She has performed at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Edinburgh and Lucerne festivals, has made regular appearances at the BBC Proms, and has been featured with orchestras throughout Europe, the US, Australia, and Japan. She has recorded Turangalîla-symphonie with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Juanjo Mena for Hyperion.
Ms. Millar's other repertoire includes Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher, which she has performed with Marin Alsop at the Oregon Bach Festival as well as the Baltimore and London symphony orchestras, Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, David Robertson and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Libor Pešek and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival; Varèse's Equatorial with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas; and Messiaen's Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine with The Cleveland Orchestra and George Benjamin, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ludovic Morlot, and BBC Symphony Orchestra under both David Robertson and Donald Runnicles. She has also recorded this work for Virgin Classics and for Globe.
This summer, she played a solo part written especially for her by Thomas Adès in the world premiere of his opera The Exterminating Angel at the Salzburg Festival. Future performances are planned at London's Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) and the Metropolitan Opera.
Engagements next season include performances of Turangalîla-symphonie with the Oregon Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, as well as Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine with the Seattle Symphony.