Good news for The Dude

Gustavo Dudamel has been awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize. It is worth around USD250,000 (€218,000) and is given annually to someone who has “pushed the boundaries of an art form, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation.”

Dudamel will collect the prize on 4 December in a ceremony at the Lincoln Centre in New York City. The event will include speeches from architect Frank Gehry and Barbican managing director Nicholas Kenyon.

Richard Armstrong, head of the Gish Prize selection committee, said: “The jury felt that Gustavo Dudamel embodies the values of the Gish Prize, having widened both audience and enthusiasm for the already exceptional Los Angeles Philharmonic. Further, his demonstrated commitment to access to music for all is uniquely commendable. We salute in particular the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles as typical of Dudamel’s contributions to the beauty of the world.”

Dudamel commented: “You can’t imagine the rush of adrenaline such news gave me. It’s at times like this that I become somewhat introspective about the work we do to ensure the arts reach as many people as possible and this moment makes me commit to redoubling my efforts.”

Previous winners of the Gish Prize include Suzan-Lori Parks, Bob Dylan, Spike Lee, Trisha Brown, Laurie Anderson and Frank Gehry.