March 9, 2023

El Sistema for Lifelong Learners

I am currently making a presentation on El Sistema for  members of the ARTE Lifelong Learning Institute in Las Cruces, NM. As a supplement to the presentation, here are a few links:

Understanding Venezuela's Recent Economic Problems

Venezuela: The Rise and Fall of a Petrostate,” (Originally published by the Council on Foreign Relations on January 24, 2019, updated on December 29, 2021.

Gustavo Dudamel and the Political Problems in Venezuela

"Why I Don't Talk Politics" (Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2015)

"A Better Way for Venezuela" (New York Times, July 10, 2017)

Resources for Learning about El Sistema



For an alternative — and quite critical —view of El Sistema, see a book by Geoffrey Baker titled El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela's Youth.

As an introduction to the rebuttals of Baker’s claims, I have provide a link to two online articles. I would like to add, however that these articles only scratch the surface of how one might challenge Baker’s complaints about a program that has received worldwide acclaim.

Mahler, Symphony No. 2 in C-minor (1895)

Performed by the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel (BBC Proms, 2011)