The Future Of Musıc Is In Venezuela

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF CONDUCTOR GUSTAVO DUDAMEL, VENEZUELA’S SIMON BOLIVAR ORCHESTRA IS GIVING TWO SPECIAL CONCERTS AT THE GOLDEN HORN CONFERENCE CENTER ON AUGUST 8 AND 9.

It all began in 1975 when an economist, and at the same time a composer and fine pianist, by the name of José Antonio Abreu collected 11 kids from the slums of the Venezuelan capital Caracas in a parking garage. His aim was to put into their crime and poverty-ridden lives the classical music and high culture that was denied them by birth. It was a long shot but it’s working. Before long the children were coming running to the garage. And most of them are becoming musicians despite starting life as potential criminals.

By most I mean 350,000. All are now under the tutelage of 150,000 music instructors at 280 music centers. There are more than 150 youth orchestras, 70 children’s orchestras and 30 symphony orchestras in the country. And one million children are expected to become musicians in Venezuela in the next five years. In short, as all the experts agree, the future of music is in Venezuela.

GUSTAVO DUDAMEL

“I was four years old when I started out. I got a lesson--a life lesson, not a music lesson. Most of my childhood friends were into crime and drugs. But the ones who joined El Sistema forged a whole new life for themselves. Music doesn’t just enrich lives, it saves lives…”

COULD IT BE IMPLEMENTED IN TURKEY?

The Venezuela Simon Bolivar Orchestra under conductor Gustavo Dudamel will give two concerts in Istanbul on August 8 and 9. But this is not the only reason for their visit. The team is also going to take part in a series of panel discussions and informal chats about how the model could be implemented in Turkey. With El Sistema founder José Antonio Abreu.