The annual Robert Stevenson Lecture Series features musicologist Geoffrey Baker, a specialist in music in Latin America, including colonial Peru as well as Latin American popular music. Baker’s recent research project on El Sistema, Venezuela’s famous orchestral music education program, culminated in the publication of El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s Youth (2014).
Miracles, Myths, and Maestros: Social Action through Music in South America
Acción social por la música, or social action through music, is a term associated with youth orchestra projects in South America, above all Venezuela’s El Sistema. It has spread to other parts of the world, where many similar projects (such as YOLA) have been created over the last dozen years. This lecture will include a brief summary of some key findings over a decade of research on El Sistema, and a more substantial overview of recently concluded fieldwork on a similar program, the Network of Music Schools of Medellín, Colombia, carried out as part of the Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded research project “Music in Medellín: Citizenship, Social Development and Urban Renewal.”