Gustavo Dudamel, the U.S.-based orchestral conductor, violinist and music education activist,  is the winner of this year's Glenn Gould Prize for lifetime contribution to the arts.

The Venezuelan-born conductor is currently the music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the music director of the Opéra National de Paris and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra.

Dudamel was appointed as the music director of the Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela when he was 18 in 1999, before conducting orchestral music for successful movies including John Williams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 and Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of West Side Story last year.

Brian Levine, executive director of The Glenn Gould Foundation, says Dudamel's commitment to the humanitarian aspect of music is vital and inspiring and points the way to the future of art. 

Dudamel, the 14th winner of the biannual prize,  will receive a cash award of $100,000  and the Glenn Gould Prize statue by Canadian artist Ruth Abernethy.

Established in 1987, the Glenn Gould Prize is named after the acclaimed Canadian piano virtuoso who died in 1982 at age 50. Past recipients include late U.S. opera singer Jessye Norman, U.S. composer Philip Glass, Canadian theatre icon Robert Lepage and late Canadian poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2022.