Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who has served as Los Angeles Philharmonic's music director since 2009, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday.
The award-winning 37-year-old conductor has performed with prestigious orchestras around the world, including the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. He continues to serve as the music director for the the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela.
In Los Angeles, he's credited for expanding the L.A. Philharmonic's reach into the community.
Inspired by a similar program that gave him access to music training with other underprivileged youth in his home country, he started the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles.
In 2016, the student musicians and Dudamel joined Coldplay to perform at the Super Bowl's halftime show.
Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin and actors Christoph Walts and Helen Hunt were in the audience as Dudamel's star was placed on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the Musicians Institute.
John Williams, who has composed music for "Star Wars," "Jurassic Park" and other films, lauded Dudamel's accomplishments. He described the young conductor as an "approachable charismatic force that brings us all together."
Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O’Farrell called Dudamel one of the great conductors of our time.
"Sir, you are a treasure," O'Farrell said. "Not just to Los Angeles, or to Venezuela, but to the world because you speak the universal language of music... Your dedication to lifting up those who are less fortunate is the most beautiful symphony of all."
In a speech, Dudamel said inclusion was at the heart of the L.A. Philharmonic's work. He said the group aims to ensure that "the music we present is not for the elite but for the masses."
He also thanked his colleagues, family and others who were instrumental in his career.
Dudamel said, “Who could imagine that a child from a working class family in the city Barquisimeto, Venezuela… whose only marketable skill is waving a stick in the air, would be standing here today?”