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pianist, composer, conductor and musicologist

Season 2. July 2011 - June 2012. Number: 12 June 2012
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"El Sistema" of Venezuela
El Sistema is a publicly financed voluntary sector music education program in Venezuela, originally called Social Action for Music. El Sistema has 30 symphony orchestras. But its greatest achievement are the 250,000 children who attend its music schools around the country, 90 percent of them from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Read some search results on the topic...
How can a country achieve a goal of this amplitude and simultaneously save childern in need and create a fresh blood in Classical Music!
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
When classical music is said to be on "life-support" Venezuela not only saves thousands of children from delinquency but also "saves" classical music!
Start a discussion on that topic in my Facebook page... Click here to connect with me on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
abreu_copia.jpgimage from
The vision of a man
In 1975, Venezuelan economist and musician José Antonio Abreu founded Social Action for Music and became its director. Abreu has navigated the program for the past 35 years through ten different administrations, flourishing under both the presidents of the 1980s and the leftist administration of Hugo Chávez. Combining political shrewdness with religious devotion, Abreu has dedicated himself to a utopian dream in which an orchestra represents the ideal society, and the sooner a child is nurtured in that environment, the better for all. {from Wikipedia}[Read more...]
Click here to connect with me for discussing that on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...
Simon_Bolivar_Youth_Orchestra.jpgimage from Wikimedia
Drew McManus wrote a four-part series about El Sistema: The Future of Classical Music is in Venezuela.
John Williams was quoted in the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional on 5 November 2007: "This is something unique that has to be seen by the whole world.... [and] which we urgently need here [in the USA]." A public symposium on El Sistema took place on 7 November 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is available as a webcast.
On 22 November 2007, Julian Lloyd Webber said this about the UK government's announcement of an infusion of £332 million just for music-education...
{from Wikipedia}  [Read more...]
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Orquesta_Sinf%C3%B3nica_Juvenil_e_Infantil.jpgimage from Wikimedia
How it worked
The Venezuelan government began fully financing Abreu's orchestra after it succeeded brilliantly at an international competition in 1977 in Aberdeen, Scotland. From the beginning, El Sistema fell under the dominion of social-services ministries, not the ministry of culture, which has strategically helped it to survive. The current Chavez administration has been the most generous patron of El Sistema so far, footing almost its entire annual operating budget as well as additional capital projects. Abreu received the National Music Prize for his work in 1979. Abreu was appointed as Special Ambassador for the development of a Global Network of Youth and Children orchestras and choirs by UNESCO in 1995, also as special representative for the development of network of orchestras within the framework of UNESCO's "World Movement of Youth and Children Orchestras and Choirs".
Its network of 102 youth and 55 children's orchestras (numbering approximately 100,000 youngsters) later came under the supervision of the Ministry of Family, Health and Sports. As El Sistema, its goal is to use music for the protection of childhood through training, rehabilitation and prevention of criminal behaviour.
{from Wikipedia}
[Read more...]
Click here to connect with me for discussing that on my personal Facebook space, or here to visit my Fan page...

Some interesting search results:

El Sistema
El Sistema is a tested model of how a music program can both create great musicians and dramatically change the life trajectory of hundreds of thousands of a nation’s neediest kids. Organizations and schools around the country are eager to become part of the El Sistema movement and understand how they can build their music programs based on the El Sistema model. El Sistema USA discovers new efforts and impassioned individuals who want to join the national movement almost daily.

Q & A Interviews -- El Sistema USA
El Sistema is unique because it has broken down social barriers in two ways: by offering a safe place for human beings to grow and by providing music education without any exceptions. El Sistema is very organic, taking principles from other programs and methodologies and adapting them to the needs of the individual. Other programs may have limited their efforts by focusing instruction on a limited group; or by expecting students to be receptacles of data processing, which too often overlooks the needs of human beings.

Key Changes
El Sistema is all about access. The program is free so money is not an issue, instruments are provided, transportation is secured and nucleos are set up so they can be reached by children. Access is a part of how El Sistema empowers children and their communities.

Sound Mind - A Classical Music Blog
Venezuela's El Sistema is set up so that each centre is responsive to the needs of that particular community. That's how music outreach programs in Toronto have worked out, because they are piecemeal. They are highly responsive to local needs and issues, and unable to deal with bigger-picture issues. The school board oversees the bigger picture, but leaves the local details up to each school principal, without necessarily giving them the funds to be able to do much.

There is magic in the music - The Boston Globe
At the core of El Sistema is a faith in the holistic benefits  of musical immersion from a young age. This means a time commitment comparable in the United States only to participation in varsity sports. Venezuelan children spend up to four hours a day, six afternoons a week, studying music in their neighborhood nucleos. And from the earliest possible moment, they are brought together to scratch out tunes in orchestras.

Q & A Interviews -- El Sistema USA
One of the primary functions of El Sistema is to use orchestral training as a model for community involvement, thus teaching students the importance of team work, commitment, and discipline.  This gives orchestral programs a deeper sense of purpose, which motivates students, teachers, and parents to work hard and achieve greatness.  Programs that strive to teach music and nothing more might not have the same intrinsic motivation and sustainability.

Globalizing El Sistema
Several people have joked that the secret of El Sistema is that there's no system.  There is some truth to that.  Each nucleo is flexible, providing the artistic director with total creative freedom.  Yet, the vision is unwavering.  Even nucleo janitors understand that they are aiding social change.  In a pyramid of creativity, Abreu empowers the directors to empower the teachers who empower the children.  These children inspire social change in their communities.  At every level of El Sistema there is a sense of pride, a feeling of ownership, and undeniable purpose.

CD: "Shadowy Arcade" Piano Solo Improvisations
My solo piano improvisations "Shadowy Arcade". The complete CD can be auditioned here...
r-DEBBIE-FRIEDMAN-large570.jpgimage from
I published a paper on the Debbie Friedman "I learnt the Aleph-Bet with her voice" you can read it here...
image from Wikimedia
I recently created which is the one and only classical music video sharing site, please connect, publish, comment and share if you like.

J.Brahms Piano Quintet in F min. ~ Alexander Scriabin Sonata N.9 Black Mas

Mehmet Okonsar is a pianist-composer-conductor and musicologist. Besides his international concert carrier he is a prolific writer.  He is the founder of the first classical music-musicology dedicated blog site: "inventor-musicae" as well as the first classical-music video portal : Mehmet Okonsar's official site:
Inspiration By Tzvi Freeman
"The music is the same. The notes are only guidelines. People who play the notes are not musicians."
"Tzvi!" he announced, "I've figured out why Jews are the best musicians." [read more...]
All intelligent species own cats.
About the only thing on a farm that has an easy time is the dog.
Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.
        -- R. Heinlein

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