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Classical 101

El Sistema: We Could Do This in Columbus

El Sistema, the Venezuela based program bringing hope and education throughout the world, acting ultimately as a great leveler, should come to Columbus. The New England Conservatory is now training Sistema teachers, collaborating with the founders  in Venezuela. Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema's highest profile graduate is now the world's highest profile conductor-and he has the chops to keep him there. No, the idea is not to produce endless musical prodigies. The idea is to break the cycle of poverty. This video tells the story better than I can http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=276oR_tEmbs Here's another video from a few years ago.  Reference is made to the program at the New England Conservatory (NEC). The narrator is Lloyd Schwartz, NPR's wonderful arts commentator and music journalist for The Boston Phoenix. Lloyd was also a buddy of my hometown, back in the day, and I hope still is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujmzURH9-Ys Let's all think of ways to expand El Sistema in the States. Let's bring El Sistema to Columbus. I'm in. Are you?

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.