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.