2009 TED Prize awarded to Jose Antonio Abreu

I’ve written elsewhere about my awe and amazement at the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

Today the 2009 winners of the TED Prize were announced, including Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of the Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. The orchestra “system” was founded in Venezuela over 30 years ago, and now includes 102 youth orchestras, 55 children’s orchestras, and 270 music centers. The program involves close to 250,000 young musicians from the nation’s poorest regions.

A quote from Maestro Abreu:

“Music has to be recognized as an…agent of social development in the highest sense, because it transmits the highest values – solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion. And it has the ability to unite an entire community and to express sublime feelings.”

This from the TED Prize description:

There is a simple concept behind José’s work: for him an orchestra is first and foremost about togetherness, a place where children learn to listen to each other and to respect one another. José continues to believe in a better future for Venezuela, wanting to change people and structures through music.

For more about the TED Prize, visit this link.

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