What is El Sistema?
In 1975, Venezuelan economist and composer, José Antonio Abreu, decided to give the gift of music to the most disadvantaged children in Caracas, with a promise that through music they would change their lives forever. The first El Sistema núcleo began with only 11 young aspiring musicians. Today, El Sistema has grown to serve over 400,000 young people per year through a network of over 200 youth orchestras or núcleos around the country. The most accomplished musicians from each núcleo feed the Simón Bolívar National Youth Orchestra, which has gone on to garner critical acclaim, dazzling audiences worldwide and bringing pride to their home country. One of its most celebrated alumni is conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who became Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at 26. El Sistema has expanded to the international level with programs and youth orchestras in over 30 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Canada and over 53 programs in U.S. cities like Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, among others. In each case, these programs help hundreds of students improve their grades, discover a passion for music, and believe in their ability to succeed.
El Sistema USA
El Sistema USA is a network that brings all U.S. based El Sistema-inspired programs together. The UCMP is part of this network which is working towards formally becoming a national association.
To learn more, please visit www.elsistemausa.org