From June 25th - 29th, the global music community came together in solidarity with Gustavo Dudamel to celebrate the life and legacy of Maestro José Antonio Abreu and his vision in the role of the arts as a force for social change, in Latin America and around the world.

Gustavo, together with an “all-star” ensemble of world-class musicians from European and American orchestras travelled to Santiago, Chile to perform two special “A Mi Maestro” homage concerts with members of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and the Youth and Children’s Orchestras Foundation of Chile (FOJI).

This was the first time in the history of Latin America that such an international group of musicians, including members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela joined with young people from South America in a such a statement of cultural solidarity.

The two A mi Maestro concerts, conducted by Gustavo, were dedicated to Maestro Abreu’s memory and to the hundreds of El Sistema-inspired programs around the world. The programme consisted of some of Maestro Abreu’s favourite symphonic pieces: Wagner’s Lohengrin Prelude (Act I), Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony.

In recognition of his commitment to young people, education and combating social inequalities through the arts, the National Council of Culture and the Arts (CNCA) of Chile selected Gustavo to receive the prestigious Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic and Cultural Merit, named after one of the artistic giants of Latin America who, in his time, was a champion of culture, education, and social justice. In many ways, Pablo Neruda’s values echo those of Maestro Abreu and the spirit of El Sistema. 

Celebrating Maestro Abreu’s impact on young people everywhere, Gustavo’s A Mi Maestro performances at CorpArtes in Santiago are now available to audiences across the globe via https://www.medici.tv/en/concerts/gustavo-dudamel-conducts-wagner-beethoven-and-tchaikovsky/

Art & Citizenship Workshop "Encounters/Encuentros" in Mexico City, presented by the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation

From February 23 to March 10, Gustavo Dudamel brought the Vienna Philharmonic on its first "Americas" tour,  beginning at Carnegie Hall in New York and concluding at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires with stops in Florida, Mexico City, Bogota and Santiago de Chile. It was an extremely meaningful tour for Dudamel, bringing the Vienna Philharmonic to his home continent and symbolically uniting North, Central and South America.

As part of the tour, Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts, Secretary of Culture, and the Arturo Márquez Foundation partnered with the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation to create a four-day intensive Art and Citizenship workshop for young musicians from across the Americas.

From March 1 to 4, 300 young musicians from community programs of the National System of Musical Development in Mexico (Sistema Nacional de Fomento Musical en México), alongside groups from Canada (El Sistema New Brunswick, Orkidstra/Ottawa), the United States (Atlanta Music Project, Boston String Academy, Harmony Program/New York, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), Puerto Rico (Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico, Ernesto Ramos Antonini Free School of Music), Venezuela (National Children's Orchestra of Venezuela), and Argentina (Orquesta Escuela of Chascomus), participated in rehearsals, discussions and final performance at the majestic Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

The workshop was conducted by Dudamel, alongside an international faculty of world-class teachers and educators. The repertoire included Arturo Márquez's "Alas (a Malala)", dedicated to the Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai, who fought for education as a fundamental right of children everywhere, and Antonin Dvorak's popular "New World" Symphony, a work inspired by indigenous and African-American musical traditions.

A champion of the belief in music's power to unite and inspire, Dudamel is particularly committed to the idea of the "United Americas.”  Many of the participating young musicians came from local education initiatives promoting music education in underserved communities. Together, they explored the cultural unity of the Americas and offered a timely celebration of harmony, equality, dignity, beauty and respect through music.

This project supported in part by the Ford Foundation.

The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation supports the first Nobel Day of Music

The Nobel Prizes are the world's most prestigious awards recognising the highest achievements in Science and Culture. The annual awarding of the prizes in Stockholm is crowned by a special gala concert uniting cultures and disciplines through music. This past December, the concert was conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, whose passionate advocacy for music's power to unite, heal and inspire, mirrors Alfred Nobel's humanistic ideals. For the occasion, Dudamel and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic performed a musical program highlighting the relationship between music and science: Mozart's “Jupiter” Symphony and Richard Strauss' epic tone poem, Also Sprach Zarathustra.

While in Stockholm during Nobel Week, Dudamel gave a speech on the Future of the Arts and Education at the Nobel Museum, participated in a panel discussion on the Arts and Sciences with 2004 Nobel Physics Laureate Frank Wilczek, and delivered an address to the distinguished guests of the Nobel concert, which included current and past Nobel Laureates, their Majesties, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and a global audience of hundreds of thousands watching live on television and on the internet.

An excerpt from Dudamel's remarks:

Alfred Nobel created these prizes for scientific and literary disciplines in recognition of achievements, as he wrote, “For the greatest benefit to mankind.”

Too often, Art and Science are pitted against each other in a competition for resources. But that, I believe, is a mistake. We should learn to understand these disciplines as related ventures in our quest to better understand and experience our world.

Many of our children will better humanity through science, and all must strengthen themselves, learning the limits of their bodies through sports. These are all important skills. But the arts are equally vital. Art is the education of the soul. Without art, the human spirit dulls and we lose touch with the powers of creativity and imagination that will unlock the discoveries and innovations of tomorrow.

The next transformative breakthroughs in technology, in medicine, in economics, in the environmental sciences, and of course in the arts, will depend on creative leaps of imagination taking humans to fresh dimensions of thought. Art unlocks the imagination, encourages creative risk and exploratory self-expression - the tools without which we would not have anything - from polio vaccines to artificial intelligence.

That is where the worlds of science and art meet, and why I believe the Nobel Prize, as a global symbol of human ingenuity and innovation, can also be a symbol to leaders and the young people of the world of the benefits of investing in the arts – for ourselves, for our future, and, in the spirit of Alfred Nobel, “for the greatest benefit to human kind.”

In cooperation with the Hilti Foundation and El Sistema Sweden, the Gustavo Dudamel Foundation was proud to support a Nobel Day of Music on Friday, December 8th. As part of the occasion, musical performances were given in communities across Sweden from morning to night, culminating in the Nobel Prize Concert that evening. Further highlighting Dudamel's commitment to creativity, learning and social engagement, the Dudamel Foundation and its partners also gathered an ensemble of young people in Stockholm representing five continents and over a dozen countries to form an “Orchestra of the Future”.

Dudamel invited professional colleagues from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and the Gothenburg Symphony to Stockholm to coach and mentor these young musicians from around the world and rehearsed the ensemble himself intensively. The “Orchestra of the Future” performed Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings and an Adagio from Star Wars: the Force Awakens, arranged by John Williams for the occasion, at a special gala reception honouring the Nobel Prizes and the 2017 Nobel Laureates.

The following day, the “Orchestra of the Future” visited the El Sistema Sweden facility in Södertälje, an underserved town outside Stockholm. A group of young people from Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Bolivia, Portugal and Greenland, among others, coming to Södertälje, performing for and engaging with young people in this diverse, disadvantaged community was a deeply moving experience capping off an unforgettable week highlighting music's unique power to build bridges and promote peace, diversity, and understanding.

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The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation partners with ORA Sound

The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation is pleased to form a partnership with ORA, makers of the world's first graphene headphones. Together we will provide children of diverse backgrounds with access to quality listening experiences. The partnership is inspired by the belief that the art of listening is fundamental to peace, harmony and understanding in our world.

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The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation supports Creative Youth Development in Massachusetts

The Gustavo Dudamel Foundation is pleased to announce a partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council in support of their SerHacer program for Creative Youth Development.

The Foundation’s grant to the Mass Cultural Council will supplement the state agency’s support of 18 El Sistema-inspired youth music ensembles across Massachusetts, and support a community performance by these young musicians in Boston.
Mass Cultural Council Program Manager Rodrigo Guerrero said the Dudamel grant is another sign that Massachusetts is leading the way in creative youth development. Creative youth development approaches young people as active agents in their own growth, with inherent strengths and skills to be developed and nurtured. The overall goal is for culture to play a major role in supporting the growth of creative, productive, and independent citizens and thriving communities.

“Music is unique in its power to unite and inspire,” says Dudamel. “By playing and listening together, music teaches discipline, cooperation, and an appreciation for beauty that enriches lives and binds communities. I am very pleased to collaborate with the Mass Cultural Council in expanding opportunities for children from diverse communities to be empowered through music."