The Santa Monica Symphony mourns the loss of Music Director Guido Lamell who passed away July 13 following a heart attack. He shared his passion for music with the Santa Monica Symphony for 9 years and his passing has left a hole in all of our hearts.

He was a longtime Santa Monica resident and violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He received his Master’s degree in violin performance and conducting from the University of Michigan and began his career with posts as Associate Concertmaster of the Louisville Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Mexico City Philharmonic. Maestro Lamell joined the LA Phil under the baton of Carlo Maria Giulini in 1979.

Lamell made his local conducting debut in 1988 with the Topanga Philharmonic Orchestra and became music director in 1990. He furthered his conducting studies with Charles Bruch at the Pierre Monteux Conducting School, Leonard Bernstein at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and with Jorge Mester in his master class in Pasadena.

Mr. Lamell conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s In-School Youth Concerts, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Orchestra, the Los Angeles Doctors’ Symphony and the La Sierra College Orchestra. On the LA Phil’s 2012 tour to Venezuela, he coached two of the youth orchestras of El Sistema and gave a conducting master class (in Spanish). He provided coaching and conducting support to local schools and youth orchestras through the LA Phil’s School Partnership Program.

In 2000, Mr. Lamell traveled to Kiev to conduct recordings with the National Symphony of Ukraine. The extensive recordings include six concertos with celebrated American violinist, Eugene Fodor, flute concertos with American Flautist Judith von Hopf, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies number 5 and 6.

In June 2011, Mr. Lamell produced and conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in a benefit concert aiding the victims of Japan’s 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Over 250 of LA’s finest musicians volunteered their time and talents to the effort. Keeping with Mr. Lamell’s passion for promoting Los Angeles’ own fine composers and presenting quality new works, the program featured two movements from the Misa Azteca Oratorio by Los Angeles composer Joseph Julian Gonzalez. The concert received enthusiastic critical praise and was awarded second place in the coveted 2012 “The American Prize”.

Lamell took the helm of the Santa Monica Symphony in the fall of 2012 and brought a new and exciting energy to the historic orchestra. Maestro Lamell broadened the repertoire of the Symphony, and presented works both well-known and unsung, classical and popular. His programming for the Symphony included the 2018 American premiere of YouTube sensation Roman Kim’s Violin Concerto and the 2016 Southern California premiere of Waterless MusicA Drought Symphony by American composer Benjamin Boone. Maestro Lamell was embraced by audiences both young and old and will be sorely missed.

If you would like to make a donation in Guido’s honor, you can donate to one of the organizations to which he devoted his life and talents:

Santa Monica Symphony
Santa Monica Arts Parents Association, in support of SMMUSD Music Programs
Los Angeles Philharmonic