|Young Venezuelan and Korean musicians perform Thursday during the press conference for their joint concert which will be held on Sunday in Seoul. (Yonhap News)|
El Sistema, Venezuela’s music education program, and a Korean youth orchestra of a similar kind will hold a joint concert in Seoul.
Some 200 Korean and Venezuelan teenagers will perform the “music of hope” at Deoksugung Palace on Sunday, following a concert by Caracas Youth Orchestra on Friday. Caracas Youth Orchestra is an orchestra based in the capital city of Venezuela which is part of the El Sistema program that has brought about social transformation through music in Venezuela since 1975.
El Sistema has been drawing thousands of poor young Venezuelans to orchestras and music training and helped them not fall into crime in the country with one of the highest crime rates in the world.
The Korean “Dream Orchestra” was launched in 2010 based on El Sistema’s core principles of cooperation, harmony, and responsibility and community values and as an alternative form of music education in the country where most music training is conducted through private lessons.
The Korean government supports local orchestras in 30 towns across the country, involving more than 1,600 teenagers in Korea.
“El Sistema allowed music to be available to a wider public and created positive social effects. It has become a popular music education system not just in Venezuela, but also in the world,” said Jose Antonio Abreu, the 74-year-old founder of El Sistema, who started the project with 11 young teenagers in a garage 38 years ago, at a press conference on Thursday in Seoul.
|Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of the Venezuelan music education program El Sistema, speaks at a press conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap News)|
“The Korean-Venezuelan joint concert shows how children from two different cultures can make harmony and cooperate and visualize the philosophy of ‘human development.’”
Two orchestras will perform Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Kunihiko Ryo’s “Frontier” and Terenzio’s Aires de Venezuela. With just four months of preparation since July, the two teams met for the first time Thursday to practice together.
Three Venezuelan young musicians and two Korean musicians presented a rehearsal concert during the press conference.
“I was surprised by how skilled Korean young musicians are. It’s very surprising that kids as young as 11 can play like this,” said Roderick Labrador, a 21-year-old violinist of the Caracas Symphony Youth Orchestra, who started playing at 13.
El Sistema now runs a network of 180 community music schools, or nucleos, attended by more than 350,000 children in Venezuela. Some of its graduates include well-known musicians, including the music director of Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel and double bass player Edicson Ruiz, who became the youngest member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at 17.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org