the world ensemble

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra to Host Sixth Residency in Madrid, July 4-12

02-19-2020

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U.S.A. National Sistema Orchestra Members Visit the Barbican

02-05-2020

Since last July, I have had the distinct pleasure of participating in the inaugural cohort of the YOLA National Institute (YNI). YNI, an initiative launched last year by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, is an in-depth training program for young musicians interested in pursuing a career in the field of music. It consists of selected members of the YOLA National Symphony Orchestra, an audition-only ensemble that is the first nationwide El Sistema orchestra in the United States and that performs every summer at the YOLA National Festival.

World Children’s Music Festival 2020 in Tokyo

02-05-2020

Tokyo is now in high-energy mode, with the countdown to the Summer 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games currently underway. This coming April, we at El Sistema Japan are anticipating another exciting event, the World Children’s Music Festival 2020 in Tokyo.

Music of Hope in Serbia: Interculturalism at Work

02-05-2020

Music Art Project (MAP) was founded in 2010 with the mission to contribute to the long-term development of society and culture in Serbia. Four years later, MAP launched the El Sistema-inspired program “Music of Hope” to help as many children and youth as possible appreciate music and enjoy its beauty together. In less than three years, Music of Hope has grown from 30 to 600 children in seven cities through collaboration with public elementary schools, music schools, and cultural and social-welfare centers.

Strength Through Musical Alliance in San Antonio, Chile

02-05-2020

This is the battle cry, originally from a famous Chilean protest song of the seventies, that resonates in the streets of Chile in recent weeks. The Chilean people occupied public spaces to demand a fairer state and to fight against inequality and social injustice. The rest of the world watches, shocked, at the tragic occurrences unfolding in the protests, and condemns the violence. As, of course, do I.

Competition, the Sistema Way

02-05-2020

The English travel writer Pico Iyer moved to Japan 27 years ago, and his passionate hobby became playing ping-pong at a nearby club. His pleasure in the game comes from the way competition works there, which is so different from the win-or-lose, zero-sum experience of competition in his native England. He says, “When I leave the ping-pong club after an hour and a half of furious exertion, if you asked me, did I win or lose, I couldn’t tell you. I’ve probably played seven games, but nobody keeps track of who’s winning the games. That stands for what the whole ping-pong club is about, which is the sense that everybody should leave in an equal state of delight. This is because in Japan, at least in the context of a club or a community, the most important thing is for everybody to be working together and feeling and thinking together and linked.” (You can hear an interview with Pico Iyer about his ping-pong experiences here.)

The Ambassadors’ Exchange, February 2020

02-05-2020

Currently in New Zealand, our summer holidays from school are coming to an end. In December, we had our Bucket Raffle Evening to fundraise for a workshop that teaches members how to repair instruments. It was a fun and successful evening. We raised over $1,000 towards this workshop, which means that many of our instruments can be repaired.

Introduction to the New 2020 Ambassadors

02-05-2020

Last year, The World Ensemble launched the Ambassadors network to bring students from El Sistema-inspired programs around the world closer together. This year, that work continues with four new Ambassadors. These incredible musicians from Serbia, Uganda, Utah, and California will join six returning Ambassadors to continue their work.

New Catalogue of Latin American Cello Music

01-23-2020

The new Sphinx Catalog of Latin American Works powerfully dispels the idea that “classical music” is a uniquely European creation. The library, released by the Sphinx Organization, is the most extensive of its kind, with more than 2,200 entries of cello music from Latin American composers ranging from 1783 to the present.

Athens to Texas: “We’re With You”

01-08-2020

Over the past few months, some El Sistema activists in the United States have been mobilizing resources to launch an El Sistema program this month for immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas, who are living in the acute stress of the border crisis. Raising money for this has been a challenge; a music industry charity, the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation, recently came through with sufficient support, with help from the Leonard Bernstein Foundation, but many funders with deep pockets don’t understand how ensemble music learning can alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

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