The fact that the pandemic hit during a school semester has provided what may be the largest natural socio-educational experiment of our time. And it's been uncomfortable.
Well, maybe. Or maybe not. Should the yet-unfolding aftermath of the Floyd murder continue the typical progression, the public anger and demands for action will be met swiftly with the theatre of action: prosecution (almost certain to fail), new laws, new oversight, new regulations, with the only real change being that police will have to … Continue reading The Day of Reckoning for Racism is Here
To this day Sistema programs around the world cling to a concept that has been ruthlessly critiqued and largely discredited. To acknowledge the fundamental failings of the program in Venezuela would be to admit that their figurative houses/empires were built on nothing more than sand.
Contrary to all conventional wisdom, it is absolutely possible for a Venezuelan orchestra to start rehearsal on time, and to play beautiful Mozart.
The lie of “we serve the community” isn’t the most atrocious modern untruth of the classical orchestral industry.
Word was received yesterday from a trusted source that the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, the No. 2 symphonic ensemble of the Fundacíon Musical Símon Bolívar of Venezuela (also known internationally as el Sistema) has been or will shortly be disbanded. The official euphemism of choice in this instance is “merged”, with the other partner in … Continue reading Breaking News: Venezuelan Sistema Orchestra is shuttered
Expecting social leadership from symphony orchestras is the same as demanding showjumping from a cow.
I’ve stopped counting how many Sistema programs I’ve visited. There have been many, many, many, but I don’t see much point in attempting to enumerate them. I've found that passing visits rarely if ever offer enough information to draw any real conclusions about what happens between the walls, if not for reasons of time constraints, … Continue reading Knowing what counts
It’s difficult to imagine today, but there was a time when the Venezuelan Bolívar was a benchmark currency within South America. There was a time when Air France offered supersonic Concorde service between Paris and Caracas, when the Hotel Humboldt perched on the mountain above the capital city was symbol of the nation’s vitality and … Continue reading From Apostle to Apostate
A speech given at a regional music festival is causing international ripples. Here's why.