The second chapter in our podcast series is about personal stories, those intimate connections between a student and a teacher that, like a pebble in a pond, send waves radiating outward. Few stories are more compelling or influential than that of Gustavo Dudamel, the Venezuelan-born conductor—and now Music Director of the Los Angeles Philarhmonic—who found his own pebble-in-the-pond experience in his home country’s visionary music education and social program, El Sistema. This podcast was developed from our October 2011 live event.
Here is the first of our videos from yesterday’s American Orchestra Forum event in San Francisco.
In this keynote conversation, Gustavo Dudamel and Deborah Borda discuss community, education and “symphonic metal” (a reference to that night’s LA Phil concert). It’s an inspiring talk. Under their leadership, the LA Phil is really challenging all of us to think bigger about the role of music in our society.
5:00pm: Deborah Borda: Indeed, music is an essential human right. We have to believe that and act on it.
4:58pm: A discussion of the music on tonight’s concert — the electric cello concerto by Enrico Chapela is like heavy metal.
4:51pm: Gustavo Dudamel made very different choices for the launch of his tenure at the LA Phil: free concerts at the Hollywood Bowl (not at Walt Disney Hall) and the first group he conducted was YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA), not the LA Phil. Why did he do it? Because music is for everybody. It is a human right.
4:48pm: To see other young people playing is the way to connect young people to music.
4:44pm: To have access to beauty is really important. El Sistema is not just a musical movement, but a social movement as well.
4:41pm: As a kid, you love to play — it is fun to “play” in an orchestra — and for Gustavo Dudamel that attitude has continued.
4:37pm: Gustavo Dudamel on Deborah Borda: I thought she was a stalker. Deborah Borda was very persistent in courting him for the LA Phil. On a trip to Caracas, she also realized that even if she couldn’t convince Dudamel to come to LA… she had to bring El Sistema to LA. It was a life-changing trip.
4:30pm: Gustavo Dudamel and Deborah Borda take the stage for our keynote event.
In this guest post, Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, explains how thinking big and embracing social responsibility led the LA Phil to a groundbreaking new partnership. Ms. Borda will be speaking at our free event on Sunday, October 23rd, with Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director of the LA Phil.
Who would imagine that an orchestra, a conservatory, and a college on opposite coasts would – or could – unite around a common goal? A few short weeks ago, the answer to this question was revealed when the LA Phil announced a groundbreaking new partnership with the Longy School of Music and Bard College to support social change through music. The joint initiative, called Take a Stand, is inspired by Venezuela’s revolutionary music education program, El Sistema, and supports the pioneering field through national conferences and a credentialed teacher training program. In the past, a venture like this – so heavily rooted in social responsibility – may have been considered out of place in the symphony orchestra world. But today, it is precisely this kind of undertaking that we must challenge ourselves to seek out in order to survive and stay relevant. (more…)
The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bard College and the Longy School of Music have announced a new initiative inspired by Venezuela’s famed music training program El Sistema. The new program, called Take A Stand, will offer regular conferences and workshops for educators, and a masters degree program. Gustavo Dudamel and Deborah Borda are both appearing at our October 23rd event and it will be interesting to hear more about their vision for the program.
We believe this national alliance will inspire and lead change in music education, addressing both a public and musical imperative that is cried out for today. We are partnering to invest in the mission of music as a fundamental and essential human right. -Deborah Borda