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Our Pick for Man of the Year: Gustavo Dudamel – Viva La Musica!

December 30, 2010

If have not heard of Gustavo Dudamel you have been missing something and someone very special. The Venezuelan born musical conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is revolutionizing the classical music world. He is doing it one concert at a time and one child at a time.

“It’s something that I need. It’s like the air. It’s like water. It’s like food. I need music,” he told “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon. “I have to be, you know, always around the sound and the magic.

CBS 60 Minutes story

And last night I watched Tavis Smiley interview Dudamel and was inspired all over again by his passion, articulation, and musicality.

Dudamel is a product of the Venezuelan musical education program, El Sistema: “By 2010, the program, known formally as the State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras, is nationwide, has impacted more than 4 million students, includes 200 youth orchestras, 60 children’s orchestras, 270 music centers and currently reaches about 400,000 young musicians.”

“Our goal is to make citizens. It’s not to make professional musicians,” Berkowitz says. “As Maestro Abreu put it, the orchestra is a really unique community, because it’s the only community that comes together for the sole purpose of agreeing with itself.”

View full story here…

Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simon Bolivar Orchestra at the Proms Festival.
One of the most exciting renditions of this mexican piece of music composed by the great Arturo Márquez that I´ve ever heard. Indulge yourself with this excellent piece of music.

In February 2010, bassoon player and Abreu Fellowship alum Dantes Rameau co-founded the Atlanta Music Project. The program is an after-school youth orchestra and choir program, which operates 5 days a week to bring music education to metropolitan Atlanta’s underserved youth.

And the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston is unique in that music is built right into the school curriculum, making it the first U.S. public school to make El Sistema a mandatory part of the school day. Students receive ensemble-focused instruction in music in a school day that is extended from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This is just a sample of several community-based programs that are part of the growing El Sistema USA system. Other U.S.-based programs include:
# Corona Youth Music Project or Núcleo Corona (Queens, NY);
# Harmony Program (Brooklyn, NY);
# Imagine Syracuse (Syracuse, NY);
# Juneau Alaska Music Matters;
# KidzNotes (Durham, NC);
# ORCHKids (Baltimore, MD);
# People’s Music School (Chicago, IL);
# Tune Up Philly (Philadelphia, PA);
# Verdugo Young Musicians Association (Pasadena, CA);
# Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music Learning Center (San Antonio, TX).

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