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  • Gustavo Dudamel conducts the youth Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra during the ministers swearing-in ceremony in Caracas on April 22, 2013.

    Gustavo Dudamel conducts the youth Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra during the ministers swearing-in ceremony in Caracas on April 22, 2013. | Photo: AFP

Published 19 December 2015

Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is the director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Venezuela’s youth symphony orchestra.

As the world is gripped with Star Wars fever, one Venezuelan can finally reveal the major role he played in the new installment “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Barquisimeto-born Gustavo Dudamel conducted the music at the opening and end titles of the infamous score by composer John Williams.

John Williams told Gustavo Dudamel: “may the force be with you” 

Dudamel was shocked when John Williams called to ask for his help.

"I remember thinking, ‘He’s joking,’” Dudamel said in a statement released to the Los Angeles Times. “John has such a wonderful sense of humor, and I somehow thought that there must be a catch. It turns out there was: I couldn’t tell anyone!”

On Monday, the 34-year-old music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic was finally allowed to announce his role in one of the most-hyped movies of 2015.

“The Force Awakens” is the latest of seven in the Star Wars saga, all for which Williams wrote the score. The musician largely conducted the rest of the score himself.

“John Williams is the Mozart of our day,” said Dudamel, who has been close with the composer for years and often conducts Williams’ music at Disney Hall. “I cannot tell you how inspired I felt when I held his score in my hands for the first time, stunned by the beauty of his writing. He's a genius.”

Dudamel began his musical career in Venezuela’s famous El Sistema musical training program, and began the violin at the age of ten before branching out into conducting.

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