There is an increasing number of blogs and forums devoted to El Sistema, the Venezuelan youth orchestra program headed by Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, but while these play an important role in raising awareness of the program and key issues around it, they are predominantly spaces of advocacy rather than critical reflection. This blog is intended to open up or continue debate on a number of questions relating to El Sistema, ones that are less often discussed or call out for further analysis.
NB only older posts (up to January 2015) are available here. For newer posts (and translations of all the posts into Spanish), please visit my new bilingual website, Tocar y Pensar:
Tocar y Pensar
The SBSO’s European tour
New Guardian article
Inside the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
Response to Carlos M. Añez
Response to Tunstall in Classical Music
Abreu, Chávez, and oil
Yearly roundup 2014
Response to New York Times and Tunstall reviews
Response to Jonathan Govias’s review
The Spectator, Music Matters, and LA Times
Weekly roundup, Sat 29 November
Response to Hewett review
Weekly roundup, Sat 22 November
Music education, discipline, and profit.
An interview with Diego Matheuz
Listening and not looking away
A critical miscellany
Journalism and research
Data, statistics, and anecdotes
How big is El Sistema?
Publishing “El Sistema”
Reflections on ISME 2014
Spot the difference
Taking a Stand?
Searching for complexity
A revolutionary project
A day out in Liverpool
Researching El Sistema (2)
Politics and El Sistema
Learning from the U.S?
Constructing El Sistema
Researching El Sistema
Scam, Voodoo, or The Future of Music? The El Sistema Debate