Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music
The story of conductor extraordinaire Gustavo Dudamel, and the music education program, El Sistema, that led him to success.
When Gustavo Dudamel, at the age of twenty-eight, ascended the podium at the Hollywood Bowl for his inaugural concert as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he immediately captivated the hearts of his audience, just as he had the minds of music critics who designated him a modern-day Leonard Bernstein.
In Changing Lives, the maestro's story becomes the entry point to an equally captivating subject: El Sistema, the music education program that nurtured his musical talent, first as a young violinist and then as a budding conductor under the mentorship of its founder, José Antonio Abreu. What began in Venezuela has now reached children in Los Angeles, New York City, Baltimore, and cities around the world. No matter the location, the overarching goal of El Sistema is unwavering: to rescue children from the depredations of poverty through music. Part history, part reportage, this book reveals that arts education can indeed effect positive social change.
- January 2012
- 6.6 × 9.6 in
/ 320 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide
Endorsements & Reviews
“Starred Review. This passionate and inspiring story should be read by all those interested in music education, community building, and advocacy for the disadvantaged. An essential purchase.” — Library Journal
“A compelling, readable book that is part history and part social activism, [Tunstall] uses Dudamel's youthful exuberance and enthusiasm for music and these programs as an example of the way that music education can be a tool for social transformation.” — Publisher's Weekly
“Tunstall soundly probes how it is that classical music has played such a powerful role in the protection, education, and elevation of so many children born into poverty. The author does a noble job tracing the history of El Sistema, while managing to keep the narrative as much in the immediate present as possible.” — Kirkus Reviews