Danzon Archive

El Sistemo 40: A Celebration – The Simon Bolivar Sym. Orch. of Venezuela/ Gustavo Dudamel – DGG

El Sistemo 40: A Celebration – The Simon Bolivar Sym. Orch. of Venezuela/ Gustavo Dudamel – DGG

Gustavo Dudamel and his Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela celebrate 40 years of El Sistema. El Sistemo 40: A Celebration – The Simon Bolivar Sym. Orch. of Venezuela/ Gustavo Dudamel – DGG 479 4447, 63:52 *****: On a summer day in 1975, in a garage basement in Caracas, Venezuela, a man distributed musical instruments to 11 adolescents. He told them “You are making history”. The man was José Antonio Abreu – organist, economist, educator, politician – and the kids were the first participants in El Sistema, a truly phenomenal movement that has propagated around the world for four decades. It was Abreu’s political and economic skills that convinced the Venezuelan Health Department to fully fund what he referred to as a “social program”. In exchange for use of the instrument and lessons, each child promised to devote 20+ hours per week to practice – and to perform, as part of an orchestra, for family and community when ready. A version of El Sistema (officially “The National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela”) exists in most major countries around the world, and one of Venezuela’s major exports is orchestral players. Among the hundreds of thousands trained, one […]