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Posts Tagged ‘L.A. Philharmonic’

I’ve been meaning to blog about the wildly successful music-education program out of Venezuela, El Sistema.

Here music critic Mark Swed follows the L.A. Philharmonic to Caracas and writes about El Sistema for the Los Angeles Times.

“Musically, Venezuela is like no other place on Earth. Along with baseball and beauty pageants, classical music is one of the country’s greatest passions.

“In the capital, Caracas, superstar Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is mobbed wherever he goes. Classical music teeny-boppers run up to him for autographs when he walks off the podium at concerts. The state-run music education program, which is known as El Sistema and from which Dudamel emerged, is the most extensive, admired and increasingly imitated in the world. One of its nearly 300 music schools for children, or núcleos, is deep in the Venezuelan Amazon, reachable only by boat. …

“The basic tenet of José Antonio Abreu, the revered founder of El Sistema, is the universal aspect of music. He likes to say that music is a human right. That’s an effective, politically expedient slogan. But what he has demonstrated on a greater scale than ever before is that music is not so much a right as a given. El Sistema is not about talent, ingeniously effective system though it may be for discovering and fostering musical talent. The truly revolutionary aspect of El Sistema is its proof that everyone has a capacity for music.”

Read about how El Sistema has spread worldwide in the Los Angeles Times.

Children at La Rinconada in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 14, 2012. Gustavo Dudamel, right, among students at a showcase of El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 15. Photograph: Mark Swed / Los Angeles Times

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