The Rhythm is Going To Get You
May 23, 2008 7:47 AM   Subscribe

The Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela have won the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. It might be in part due to their charismatic conductor, or very probably due to their unique style. What sets them apart from most orchestras, though, is their System, which the NYT referred to as "the most ambitious program of music education and orchestra training in the world".

El Sistema Nacional de Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles is a government sponsored program consisting of 120 youth and 60 children orchestras numbering approximately 100,000 youngsters, created by José Antonio Abreu.

As a bonus, here is the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra's rendition of Bernstein's Mambo.
posted by micayetoca (7 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
That Mambo never fails to knock my socks off.

I had the incredible fortune of being able to watch Dudamel conduct in Disney Hall at the end of March. I was also lucky enough to be in a spot where I could see his face. He worked without a score and was so incredibly nuanced with his face and hands. It was such a treat to see someone that totally into the music they were conducting. Based on the incredible performances he gets out of the groups, you the feeling that he connects to the musicians really well.
posted by piratebowling at 7:59 AM on May 23, 2008

He's ok.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 8:01 AM on May 23, 2008

The conductor link above has "clips" from the 60 Minutes segment on Gustavo Dudamel. Here's the segment in full. [video | 12: 57].
posted by ericb at 8:29 AM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

That was amazing; looks like they're having a ton of fun.

Their band camp must be awesome.
posted by Anything at 9:05 AM on May 23, 2008

Interesting. Bits of the articles remind me of the testimonials you'll hear from, say, New Yorkers who grew up in the 70s and 80s, about how hip hop saved their life, or how punk did.

I think the message really is the same. "It's okay to give a shit. It's okay to love something that takes hard work and discipline. Even if work sucks and school is a meaningless chore and your family and your neighborhood are weighing you down like a stone, there are things in the world that are worth getting right."
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Everybody does the mambo now!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:39 PM on May 23, 2008

Very interesting post. Thanks!
posted by mrducts at 3:35 PM on May 24, 2008

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