Dudamel, who will be 28 when he replaces Esa-Pekka Salonen as music director of the L.A. Philharmonic next year, considers Leonard Bernstein a role model.
Although most music lovers don't realize it, a number of prominent conductors were born in Los Angeles. Lorin Maazel, music director of the New York Philharmonic, is an L.A. native, and so is Michael Tilson Thomas, who leads the San Francisco Symphony. And if we're not too technical about it, we can also include David Robertson, a rising star now at the St. Louis Symphony. He came of age in Santa Monica.