I’m very happy to say that my formal article on The Five Fundamentals of El Sistema is now available in print in the current edition of Canadian Music Educator (53-1), the official publication of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association. The editor, Ben Bolden of Queen’s University, has very graciously allowed the Québec Music Educators’ Association to make the entire piece available online in both English and in French in support of the Canadian Symposium II on El Sistema to be held in Montréal on November 17th of this year. If you don’t have access to the print edition, both versions are available here or by clicking the image below. The conference will be the second effort to connect el Sistema with current academic thought (the first being London Ontario last May) and represents another major step forward in advancing the academic and thus political credibility of the movement. Please consider attending! The full conference program will be published shortly, but in the spirit of full disclosure I can now announce I will be speaking at the event. Update January 9, 2012: the article is available directly from my site here.
My thanks go to Ben for a gesture that is extremely rare in the publishing industry, and to Theodora Stathopoulos, President of the CMEA, conductor, conference organizer, tireless Sistema activist AND chair of the new ISME Special Interest Group on el Sistema for the invitation to contribute this piece.
Articles of this nature should carry a disclaimer: Warning: neither definitive nor final. This is only the most recent representation of my thinking, and I anticipate that my thoughts will continue to evolve, much like the subject matter that inspires them. The process of re-evaluation and re-examination is actually quite visible over the nearly two years of the blog, in fact. Rather than hiding or denying my past folly, I’ve left it all available and transparent because the process is of as much value (at least to me) as the rather dynamic conclusions that I draw. I say this every time I present: I never claim to be right, and my intent is always to start discussion, not to end it.
That said…I’m also happy to say that this particular piece was read and vetted by Maestro Abreu himself. It was particularly important to me that this article connect in the most succinct, pragmatic and (alas!) prosaic way the philosophy behind Sistema to its highly variable practice, and do so accurately. I’m honoured he took some of his very valuable time to review it – and am delighted that it met with his approval.
Feel free to comment below.