Gustavo Dudamel: A Revolutionary Musical Hero

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Musicians are the “dreamers of dreams… the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems” (Arthur O’Shaughnessy). One such “mover and shaker” is the conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who is currently leading a  musical revolution that affects thousands of young lives in Venezuela. Perhaps the repressive, authoritarian political regime now in power in Venezuela makes the transformative, liberating act of bringing music to thousands of at-risk kids  even more urgent.

This passionate, flamboyant 28-year-old conductor debuted Oct. 8 as new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to a wildly enthusiastic audience of 18,000. Dudamel also continues his 10th year with the phenomenal Simon Bolivar Orchestra, which resulted from a nationwide music education program which trained Dudamel along with thousands of young musicians, many from the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods. (See The Promise of Music DVD).  Let’s hope he can help foment a similar musical revolution in the USA.

PROMISE OF MUSIC DVDTHE PROMISE OF MUSIC DVD. Gustavo Dudamel, director of Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and classical music’s hottest young star,  showcases a musical revolution  that is the envy of the world. This incredible orchestra, one of the country’s many youth orchestras, is the result of a music education program called “El Sistema” that begins early in life and involves thousands of students,  many  from the nation’s poorest crime-ridden neighborhoods. “El Sistema”, founded in 1975 by far-sighted musical “mover and shaker” José Antonio Abreu, has opened the doors of classical music to thousands (including Dudamel himself), providing music education and free instruments to those who could not otherwise afford it.  Follow Director Dudamel and young musicians of the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, in their day-to-day lives, in rehearsal, and in performance. Never again doubt the power of music to shape lives when you witness the most talked about phenomenon in the musical world today. 155 min. DVD

El Sistema: Music to Change Life  DVD 5092  $39.95 is now available at Music in Motion.

  • Watch the complete Oct. 8  LA Philharmonic concert, with Gustavo Dudamel at the helm.
  • See Dudamel on 60 Minutes.
  • Going global, the “El Sistema” musical revolution, now launches a program of U.S. Fellows to expand music education. 

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