Thursday, August 06, 2009

Guest Blogger - Adam Lazzarato

This is the next post in The Contrapuntal Blog Guest Blogger Series. The purpose is to showcase some of the worlds most passionate and creative Gould fans' creations through photo, video and writing.

Adam Lazzarato (@adamlazzarato) is a 19-year-old Intern at The Glenn Gould Foundation. He is responsible for overseeing the Contrapuntal Blog and tweeting for the Glenn Gould Foundation at @GlennGouldFndn. His musical tastes consist of mainly North American indie rock, but over his time at the Glenn Gould Foundation, he has learned to love and respect Glenn Gould’s piano. He will be entering into his second year at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario in September to study Computer Science.

Why Am I Excited for the Celebration of Music Week?
For the uninitiated, the Celebration of Music Week to celebrate the Glenn Gould Prize’s Eighth Laureate, José Antonio Abreu’s lifetime contributions to humanity through music and communications.

Dr. Abreu created El Sistema, a visionary system in Venezuela that gives children (over 1 million in the system’s 34 year history) 6 days of music education a week to inspire hope and unlock creativity in children that may otherwise be involved with drugs, violence, gangs, among other unspeakables.

From this system has spawned some of the best orchestras in the world, most notably the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. This orchestra has been classified as one of the top 5 orchestras in the world and compared to the marvelous Berlin Philharmonic. The conductor of the orchestra is the hottest thing to hit classical music in a considerable amount of time: Gustavo Dudamel.

Gustavo Dudamel performs with the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphonic Orchestra during a free concert at the low-income neighborhood of La Vega in Caracas August 2, 2009.

So, why am I excited?

The Celebration of Music Week promises to be the musical event of the year. (Full schedule of events) On October 26, 2009, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel will play a Gala concert at the Four Seasons Centre. I have not been interested in classical music for too long, but I know that this event will be as exciting and incredible as a rock concert. Anyone that has seen Gustavo conduct will tell you the same thing.

Gustavo Dudamel is a rock star.

Knowing that the members of the 250-seat orchestra came from extreme poverty in Venezuela will speak volumes as to the power of music and the influence on human lives that music carries.

But that isn’t all. There will be high school tours, a day of symposium, and a massive concert for over 13,000 children at the Air Canada Centre and much more.

When all is said and done, I hope we can look back on the Celebration of Music Week and be awe-struck. There is something in this story we can take note of in Canada. There is something to be done about music and arts education.

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