Theodore Kwon: PCM’s Little Conductor

The LA Philharmonic’s 2019/2020 season is kicking off, and there’s nobody more excited to witness the passionate and emphatic charisma of Dudamel than PCM’s very own little conductor, Theodore Kwon.

Child next to Dudamel poster outside of Disney Hall

Theo at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Theodore Kwon is currently a 3-year-old student in the Young Musicians program at the PCM, and is Dudamel’s biggest (and smallest!) fan. Having been exposed to classical music at three months of age, Theo’s affinity for conducting and classical music became apparent when he began mimicking the conducting he observed from YouTube videos only six months later. While Theo also recognizes former LA Phil conductors, he especially idolizes Dudamel’s zealous and dynamic personality, often imitating Dudamel’s sayings and emulating his actions from performance and rehearsal videos. To put what he has learned to performance practice, Theo organizes performances for his family, where he instructs his sister to introduce him to his audience as Gustavo Dudamel.

Dudamel holding child

Theo with Dudamel

It is evident that Theo’s fondness for Dudamel and conducting continues to grow day by day. Theo owns more than seven batons, has met Dudamel twice, and plans to dress as Dudamel for Halloween for the third year in a row. In addition, Theo owns a 3×10 ft LA Phil poster and has been gifted a signed baton by Dudamel himself. He takes every opportunity to be a conductor, and his parents see that, “every square on the ground is a podium and every stick is a baton,” to Theo.

Child next to portrait of Dudamel

Theo with his 3 x10 ft poster

At home, Theo’s parents, Gerald and Joey Kwon, are incredibly supportive of his love for conducting and work their hardest to expose Theo to as much classical music as possible. They have already purchased for Theo his very own black tuxedo (per his request), taken him to two seasons of the LA Phil’s Toyota Symphonies for Youth and many Hollywood Bowl concerts, and play classical music for him at every given moment. Theo’s parents understand the importance of parental encouragement and support, and express that, “most importantly, we’re his biggest fans in the audience”. Once they realized Theo’s innate passion for music, they enrolled him in the PCM’s young musicians program, where Theo thrives in his classes and particularly adores his teacher, Ms. Sharon Weed.

Child holding conductor baton in front of fountain

In the future, the PCM hopes that Theo will continue chasing his dream of being the next Dudamel and will support him in his conducting trek that is only just beginning!

Blog post by Erica Lee.