El Sistema: older posts

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:

tocarypensar.com (English)

es.tocarypensar.com (Spanish)


Older posts:

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

Political systems 

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


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