Sad news, one of the most influential personalities of the music world, maestro Jose’ Antonio Abreu of Venezuela passed away yesterday, at the age of 79. He might not be as famous as other orchestra directors but he has been way more important for many, many young children as he invented the “Sistema”, a publicly financed voluntary sector music education program, consisting of more than 400 music centers and 700,000 young musicians who got educated through music.
His vision was that “Music has to be recognized as an agent of social development, in the highest sense because it transmits the highest values – solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion. And it has the ability to unite an entire community, and to express sublime feelings”.
The apex of his “Sistema” is the Simon Bolivar Orchestra which with Gustavo Dudamel on the podium, one of his pupils and now director of the Los Angeles Philarmonic, became the leading classic orchestra of South America.
I invite you to see his TED lecture and of course take a listen at the Danzon n2 by Arturo Marquez which I had the joy of listening live in Rome, several years ago, and still remember it vividly, a memorable performance indeed.
RIP maestro Abreu.
For those who wish to know more some links from Wikipedia: