I’m sure many of you have seen the segments on CBS’ 60 Minutes recently about El Sistema, Gustavo Dudamel, and José Antonio Abreu, the Founder of El Sistema. Symphony magazine did a cover story on El Sistema in their March/April 2008 issue. And the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra gave an astounding performance at Carnegie Hall in November.
Señor Abreu spoke at the National Performing Arts Conference in Denver on June 13, 2008 for all the delegates. The League of American Orchestras has some great photos and an introductory video about El Sistema that was shown at this plenary session on their website.
Later that afternoon, he addressed a session as part of the League of American Orchestra’s conference. Jesse Rosen, the League’s CEO, asked Señor Abreu to tell the attendees a bit about Venezuela, so that everyone could gain a greater insight into El Sistema.
His remarks were translated by Bolivio Bottome, but she seemed to be paraphrasing what he said because he was so intent on telling us so much! I was pretty much able to keep up with her translation, but what follows is definitely not a literal translation of Señor Abreu’s remarks but rather my attempt at capturing the gist of what he presented.
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