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Sistema Europe News: Gustavo Dudamel speaks at the Scottish Parliament

“I have made it my personal mission not to rest until music is truly a fundamental human right, for everyone.” Gustavo Dudamel – Edinburgh, August 25, 2023

Big Noise, a community based, transformational social change and music education programme delivered by Sistema Scotland, uses intensive, immersive orchestral music-making to foster confidence, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children taking part and across the wider community. Dudamel has engaged actively with Sistema Scotland on many occasions, including in 2018 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a part of the EIF, in 2012 with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and young people from Big Noise in Stirling, Scotland for the London 2012 Olympics and in 2007 with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in residency at the EIF.

Dudamel has also collaborated with Sistema Scotland through the work of his own non-profit charity the Dudamel Foundation, beginning in 2017 with the Nobel Concert’s “Orchestra of the Future” in Stockholm, Sweden and most recently in 2022 for Encuentros LA. The Venezuelan El Sistema organisation has fostered ties in Scotland dating back to 1976 – just one year after the programme was founded by José Antonio Abreu – when the first tour of an El Sistema youth orchestra made a stop in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The In Conversation will close the 19th Festival of Politics which takes place in the heart of Scotland’s democracy and aims to provoke and inspire debate.

“Speaking to you as part of the Festival of Politics, here in this space where legislation is debated and made, is a powerful reminder of how important it is to support the arts. The laws made in this room are not just words on paper, they have a profound impact on the lives of every citizen. El Sistema is a social project first and a cultural project second, with the ultimate aim of making music fully a part of society – an imperative that affects the life of every person,” said Dudamel of his appearance at the Scottish Parliament.

“I have made it my personal mission not to rest until music is truly a fundamental human right, for everyone. El Sistema has endured through seven different governments in Venezuela – it is not about politics, it is about the shared belief that art must be a part of the fabric of society. This is what I grew up believing, and what I continue to believe, and what I have seen over and over again in my life around the world – and especially here in Scotland, with the extraordinary young people of Big Noise.”

Full version of the article here.
Video from the Scottish Parliament here.