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Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Reaching for the Stars: A Forum on Music Education; November 29 & 30, 2012


Building on the values of artistic excellence, accessibility and advocacy inherent in the engagement of Maesto Dudamel and the extraordinary Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Cal Performances has created a wide-reaching residency designed to have an enduring impact on music education.

Nov 28: The Transformative Power of Music
Nov 29: Bringing the Work Forward: The Possibilities for a Musical Education

Eric Booth Workshop: What's Possible: El Sistema and What it Opens for Us

Registration: $30 includes all conference activities (excluding evening Zellerbach Hall performances) Nov 28 & 29.

(To attend both days, purchase two single-day tickets at $15 each.)

Matías Tarnopolsky talks with Gustavo Dudamel and José Antonio Abreu
Cal Performances' Director Matías Tarnopolsky talks with Gustavo Dudamel, the Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema, about the importance of music education. The discussion was a segment of Cal Performances' Reaching for the Stars: A Forum on Music Education and was part of the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Orchestra Residency. Recorded November 28. 2012.

Residency Activities

Building on the values of artistic excellence, accessibility and advocacy inherent in the engagement of Maestro Dudamel and the extraordinary Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Cal Performances has created a wide-reaching residency designed to have an enduring impact on music education.

Reaching for the Stars: A Forum on Music Education
Nov 28 & 29
Zellerbach Playhouse

A two day conference about music education. Nov 28: "The Transformative Power of Music"; Nov 29: "Bringing the Work Forward: The Possibilities for a Musical Education"; and a culminating workshop led by Eric Booth, "What's Possible: El Sistema and What it Opens For Us" open to all conference participants. Registration and further information on Reach for the Stars or contact

Master Class for the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra
Tue, Nov 27, 7:30 pm
Hertz Hall

Gustavo Dudamel coaches the UC Symphony Orchestra in an open rehearsal. This event is open to observers.

SchoolTime Performance
Wed, Nov 28, 11 am
Zellerbach Hall

An hour long, daytime performance for K-12 students. Pre-registration is required, open to K-12 schools and home school associations only.

Sightlines Pre-performance talks
Thu and Fri, Nov 29 and Nov 30, 7 pm
Zellerbach Hall

Thirty-minute talks by Tricia Tunstall, author of Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema and the Transformative Power of Music, scheduled one hour prior to curtain for both performances. Open to performance ticket holders of that night's performance only.

Music Workshops
Members of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra will bring their love of music to schools and music programs throughout the Bay Area. Limited sessions are available. Contact for further information and applications.

TEMPO: Teens Empowered by Music Performance Opportunities
Cal Performances launches a new program designed to enrich the lives of teens with our new program. Using the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra residency as an inspiration and launching point, TEMPO provides opportunities for young people to create music and experience performances by the world's most accomplished artists. In this inaugural session, students will encounter orchestral music and Venezuelan culture; make music together; and attend a performance of SBSO. Open to participants only.

Schedule of Events

The Transformative Power of Music
Wed, Nov 28
1:30-7 pm
Zellerbach Playhouse

1:30 pm
Welcome: Matías Tarnopolsky, Director, Cal Performances
1:45 pm
Keynote: Eric Booth
3 pm
4:30 pm
Performance by musicians from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
4:45 pm
José Antonio Abreu, founder of Venezuela's El Sistema music education system and conductor Gustavo Dudamel in a talk led by Matías Tarnopolsky
6 pm
Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall: Summary and reflection
6:30 pm
Bringing the Work Forward: The Possibilities for a Musical Education
Thu, Nov 29
12-1 pm
Alumni House
12 pm
Arts Education Brown Bag discussion: Music Education in Northern California facilitated by Sabrina Klein, Creative Education Consulting, with Guests Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall
Pre-order lunch from The Musical Offering (coming soon, please check back)
1-6 pm
Zellerbach Playhouse
1:30 pm
Matías Tarnopolsky: Artistic Excellence, Advocacy and Accessibility
1:45-4 pm
Plenary sessions: Best Practices in Music Education

4:30-6 pm
Workshop: "What's Possible: El Sistema and What it Opens for Us" led by Eric Booth

Conference Participants

José Antonio Abreu: Retired economist, trained musician, and social reformer founded El Sistema ("the system") in 1975 based on the conviction that all Venezuelan kids can benefit from participating in classical music. After thirty years and 10 different political administrations, El Sistema is now a nationwide organization of 102 youth orchestras, 55 children's orchestras, and 270 music centers.

Born in Valera in 1939, Abreu graduated "Summa Cum Laude" as an Economist at Universidad Católica Andres Bello and he was awarded a PhD degree in Petroleum Economics. He served as a Deputy at the Chamber of Deputies in the Congress of Venezuela. After his political career, he also worked as a professor of economics and law at Universidad Simón Bolívar and his Alma Mater. Served as Venezuela's Minister of Culture in 1983.

Abreu's attended the Caracas Musical Declamation Academy in 1957, where he studied piano with Moisés Moleiro, organ and harpsichord with Evencio Castellanos, and composition with Vicente Emilio Sojo. In 1967, he received the Symphonic Music National Prize for his musical ability. He founded El Sistema, formally known as the Foundation for the National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela, to help poor Venezuelan kids learn to play a musical instrument and be part of an orchestra. 30 years on, El Sistema has seeded 102 youth orchestras—and many happy lives. Under Abreu's guidance, El Sistema has participated in exchange and cooperation programs with Spain, Latin American countries and the United States

Gustavo Dudamel: Concurrently serves as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

Eric Booth is widely referred to as the father of the teaching artist profession, as well as being an actor, businessman, and author of five books. As an actor, he performed in many plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the country, playing over 23 Shakespearean roles, and winning acting awards on both coasts. As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles; he was a frequent trend pundit in the major media, with a nationally syndicated radio program. As an author, he has had five books published, including the influential The Everyday Work of Art and The Music Teaching Artist's Bible. He has written three dozen magazine articles, and was the Founding Editor of the Teaching Artist Journal.

In arts learning, Eric has taught at Juilliard (13 years), Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 25 years), and The Kennedy Center (12 years). He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America), and held one of six chairs on The College Board's Arts Advisory Committee for seven years. He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities, states, school districts, and businesses around the country, including six of the ten largest orchestras in America, and five national service organizations. He is widely referred to as the father of the teaching artist profession. Formerly the Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center, he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds. He delivered the closing keynote speech to UNESCO's first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006)—the only American speaker; and gave the keynote speech to the first world conference on orchestras connections to communities (Glasgow 2007). He is also Senior Advisor to the El Sistema movement in the U.S., fostering the development of El Sistema-related sites around the U.S. He designed and led the first international teaching artist conference (Oslo 2012), and co-founded the Orchestra Engagement Lab.

Leni Boorstin: Director of Community and Government Affairs, Los Angeles Philharmonic
As Director of Community Affairs for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Leni Boorstin is responsible for Neighborhood Concerts and other community programs including Phil the House that introduced more than 20,000 people to LA's iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall with free performances in its opening and subsequent seasons. Ms. Boorstin worked closely with the Latino Welcome Committee that helped bring new audiences from around the County to Music Director Dudamel's inaugural concert Bienvenido Gustavo! at the Hollywood Bowl. She liaises with a consortium of organizations and individuals in support of a youth orchestra movement—including YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA)—in order to expand access to free, high-quality intensive music education for underserved youth across Los Angeles. Ms. Boorstin's previous experience in arts management was at KPFK-FM and San Francisco's Exploratorium Museum. As a graduate student, she was a Public Affairs and the Arts Fellow with the CORO Foundation. Ms. Boorstin was trained through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission as an executive coach and mentors the next generation of arts management professionals through the Emerging Arts Leaders program. Ms. Boorstin has served three Los Angeles Mayors as a Human Relations Commissioner. She is Chair emeritus of the Arts for LA board.

Melanie DeMore: Conductor, singer and songwriter Melanie DeMore was a California Artist in Residence with the Oakland Youth Chorus for 10 years and has received an award from the Music Educators National Conference for her work with young singers and artists. A founding member of Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and a Cal Performances teaching artist for many years, Melanie is piloting Cal Performances TEMPO (Teens Empowered by Music and Performance Opportunities) in conjunction with the residency of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in November, 2012.

Sabrina Klein: Consultant, Teaching Artists Organized and Creative Education Consulting
Sabrina Klein is a theatre artist, educator, and researcher. Her life's training has brought her to the belief (for which she sees daily proof) that artists and art-making truly make the world a better place. Through her many roles—currently as part time Executive Director of Teaching Artists Organized, and previously as Executive Director of the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts in Berkeley, theatre director, director of Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs, writing and theater teacher at UC Berkeley and Harvard University, and as a teacher-educator bringing artists in to Bay Area classrooms since 2000—she has struggled to find ways to articulate the values that artists share with other artists, parents, business leaders, politicians, educators and other community members. She is committed to not-for-profit arts, education and services organizations and the government entities that serve them. Sabrina has facilitated community conversations with over 40 nonprofit and education organizations, learning about what really matters to people in their work and helping them plan to act on those values in a meaningful and sustainable way.

Gillian Moore: Head of Classical Music, Southbank Centre, London
Gillian Moore is a key figure in classical music and music education in the UK. She took on her current role in 2011, having joined the organization as Head of Contemporary Culture in 2006. She was the Artistic Director of the London Sinfonietta from 1998 to 2006, combining that post with running the audience development program Inside Music at the Royal Festival Hall and being a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music. In 1998 she was also Artistic Director of the ISCM World Music Days in Manchester. She was Head of Education at the Southbank Centre from 1993 to 1998, developing an approach that integrated educational and artistic activity. For a decade, from 1983, she was the Education Officer at London Sinfonietta, the first such post of its kind in the UK, and she initiated work with contemporary music in schools, prisons and in the wider community. During her career, Gillian has collaborated with many of the great musical and artistic figures of our age, from Luciano Berio to Radiohead, from Harrison Birtwistle to Sir Simon Rattle, from Steve Reich to Akram Khan. She has commissioned many significant new works as well as creating opportunities for artists to reach the widest possible audiences with their work.

In 1991 Gillian was awarded the Sir Charles Groves Award for services to British music, in 1992 she was created an Honorary Member of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and in 1994 she was awarded an MBE for services to music and education. She received the Association of British Orchestras Award in 1998 for contribution to British orchestral life, and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 2000. She was made an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2003 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Brunel University in 2006. Gillian regularly writes and broadcasts about music. In particular, she is a regular contributor to BBC Television's coverage of The Proms and BBC Radio 3's Hear and Now series. Gillian is a council member of the Royal College of Music and of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Louise Music: Executive Director of the Department of Integrated Learning at the Alameda County Office of Education
A visionary leader and bold advocate for equity in education, Louise Music has developed innovative models for supporting professional practice and tapping creative capacities of educators for deepening and continuously improving teaching and learning. As Director for the Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Music is charged with implementing its three year strategic plan: 10 Years and Growing: Making Systemic Change in Education through the Arts and Arts Integration for the 18 school districts in Alameda County. She oversees regional coordination and leadership capacity building as the Region IV Arts Lead for the California County Superintendents of Education Services Association in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Napa, and Solano counties. Recent publications include "Arts Learning as Equitable and Meaningful Education," in Artful Teaching (Teacher's College Press, June 2010).

Dalouge Smith: President and CEO San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
Dalouge Smith joined the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) in 2005. He has overseen development of the organization's vision to "make music education accessible and affordable for all students." In pursuit of this vision, Dalouge has transformed SDYS from being solely a program provider into a catalyst for restoring and strengthening music education in schools. Along with using its flagship orchestras and ensembles in pursuit of this goal, in 2010 SDYS launched its first community music program inspired by Venezuela's El Sistema youth orchestra movement to build support for school music through measurement, partnerships, community awareness, and community action. In September, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory received the national Grand Prize Prudential Leadership Award for Exceptional Nonprofit Boards from Board Source for its organizational transformation and impact on the community.

Russ Sperling: : President, California Music Educators Association
Russ Sperling currently serves as President of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA). He is the founding and current President of the San Diego Winds, a professional wind ensemble. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the California Music Project (CMP). He is also Director of the Grossmont College Concert Band.

Mr. Sperling is the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education. He provides consultations and services to the 42 school districts in San Diego County on all facets of arts education, K-12. He is the leader of Arts Empower San Diego, San Diego County's new strategic arts education initiative. Mr. Sperling recently served as Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Sweetwater Union High School District. He was responsible for visual art, dance, theatre and music for that 43,000-student district.

Matías Tarnopolsky: Director, Cal Performances Most recently the Vice President of Artistic Planning at the New York Philharmonic, Matías brings a history of risk-taking, artistic collaborations and strong partnerships to his new role as Director of Cal Performances. At the New York Philharmonic he worked closely with Music Director Lorin Maazel, Music Director-Designate Alan Gilbert, and countless leading conductors and artists. He helped to shape the Philharmonic's artistic vision and spearheaded outreach programs in New York and as far afield as North Korea. Instrumental in the Philharmonic's 2008 residency in Pyongyang, Matías' body of work speaks to his belief in the fundamental importance of arts and culture and their ability to shape "citizens of the world."

As ambitious while at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he created the CSO's new music series, MusicNOW, and initiated a relationship between CSO and Hubbard Street Dance, who continue to work collaboratively, melding the dance and music worlds and reinvigorating a tradition of performing with live music. Bold decisions also characterized his programming of CSO's prominent presenting series, which programs some 60 piano recitals, visiting orchestra performances, chamber music, and other programs annually. Raised and educated in London, Matías is a two-time graduate of the University of London, King's College and credits the BBC Proms for inspiring his career in the arts. With his appointment to the Director's position at Cal Performances, he hopes to recreate the sense of wonder for many that he first felt so many years ago.

Since joining the organization in late 2009, Matías has launched two new programs—the annual Orchestra Residency and the Fall Free for All—designed to contextualize the arts presented on our stages, to reach diverse audiences, and to eliminate traditional barriers to attendance. The community response was overwhelming and demonstrated a sincere desire for ever more engagement in the performing arts.

Stanford Thompson: Chief Executive Officer, Play on Philly
Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music education and performance for social innovation. He was the founding Director of Operations for the Atlanta Trumpet Festival; serves as the President and Artistic Director for the Reading Summer Music Institute: Program Director of the Meru (Kenya) Music Project; founding Director of Tune Up Philly in 2010; and CEO of the El Sistema-inspired program Play On, Philly!

As a conductor and educator, Stanford has served as clinician for the Music In Charter Schools annual festival and Philadelphia All-City Brass Symposium. He has served on faculty for the Atlanta Academy of Music and Symphony in C Summer Music Camp. He has also presented master classes and clinics to all ages in over 100 presentations worldwide. Mr. Thompson also teaches on the faculty with the New England Conservatory's Abreu Fellows Program and mentors students at The Curtis Institute of Music.

As a trumpeter, Mr. Thompson has performed with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C and recorded on the Ondine label with Christoph Eschenbach. Stanford also appeared as soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the North Springs Philharmonic. He has lead residencies with Philos Brass in Milford, Pennsylvania and Atlanta, Georgia. In the jazz idiom, he has performed for the Berks Jazz Festival, performed on the Washington College Concert Series and presented for the opening gala of the Philadelphia Orchestra with the Rittenhouse Jazz Quintet. Currently, Stanford is a member of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and Philos Brass.

For El Sistema-inspired programs he has implemented, Stanford has secured over $4 million in funding which has lead to the direct impact of thousands of children around the world. In Philadelphia, specifically, his students have performed on the stages of the Kimmel Center, Mann Music Center, and the Wanamaker Building and collaborated with students during the first national convening of El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States. His students have taken the stage with world-class musicians like Sir Simon Rattle, Wynton Marsalis, Marin Alsop, and Bobby McFerrin. Play On, Philly! is also featured in Jamie Bernstein's forthcoming documentary El Sistema USA!.

Stanford is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music where he holds a Bachelor's degree in performance and the New England Conservatory's Abreu Fellows Program. He serves on the board of the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter and recognized as one of Philadelphia's top 76 Creative Connectors. He has presented at international conferences at TED, League of American Orchestras. Sistema Canada, and El Sistema USA.

Tricia Tunstall: Author, Changing Lives
Recently published, Tricia Tunstall's book tells the story of conductor extraordinaire Gustavo Dudamel, and of El Sistema, the children's orchestra system that began in Venezuela and is fast becoming an international movement to transform children's lives through music. It was named one of the three best education books of the year by the Huffington Post.

Tricia Tunstall is a writer and music educator who is particularly interested in possibilities for adapting the El Sistema model to the cultural and economic circumstances of the United States. Tunstall has maintained an active piano studio in the New York area for twenty years. She has also taught general music in public schools, and music history and music appreciation at Drew University and Bergen College. As a writer, Tunstall has published short stories in journals such as the Kenyon Review and the Antioch Review, as well as a wide variety of freelance articles. Tunstall is also a lyricist whose songs can be heard on two albums of original jazz songs, New Singers, New Songs 1994 and 1995 (Bhakti Label) and the children's educational video series Learning Adventures. Her musical Charley's Tale was produced at Musical Theater Works in New York. Tunstall earned a B.A. in philosophy at Yale University and an M.A. in musicology at Columbia University, and pursued graduate studies in piano at Manhattan School of Music. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Music Education at Boston University.

(Please note that Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra performance tickets are sold separately and are extremely limited. A small group of tickets are currently on hold for conference registrants and will be sold on a first-come, first serve basis.)

For more information contact Laura Abrams, Director of Education and Community Programs at or 510.642.3691


Event Page ¡MUSICA!
A Celebration of Music from Latin America

Thu, Nov 29

Sinfonia india

Tres versions sinfonicas

La noche de los Mayas

Fri, Nov 30

Rituales Amerindos, II: Chaac (Maya water god)

Chôros No. 10

Cantata Criolla

Soloist and chorus to be announced.

Patron Information

Reaching for the Stars: A Forum on Music Education, is presented by Cal Performances on November 28 & 29 in conjunction with the Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem Orchestra Residency of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

Beyond the fascinating sessions on El Sistema and music education, you might also like to note these options available to all conference participants. (All tickets are limited. Please see ordering instructions for events and lunch options).

Conference Program Notes [PDF]

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel
8 pm, Thu, Nov 29 and Nov 30, Zellerbach Hall
These performances are very close to sold out. Contact the ticket office at 510.642.9988 or go to the event page for more information.

Eric Booth will lead an interactive workshop, What's Possible: El Sistema and What it Opens for Us, 4:30 pm on Thu, Nov 29. This workshop is included in the conference registration, and is designed for music educators as well as people who care about the future of music education.

12:30 pm, Wed, Nov 28, Zellerbach Playhouse Lobby
Box lunches are available from The Musical Offering Café. First, visit for the menu, then call the café at 510.849.0211 or stop in at 2430 Bancroft Way, the first street south of Zellerbach Playhouse to place your order. Lunches for Wed, Nov 28 must be ordered by Mon, Nov 26; orders for Thu, Nov 29 must be placed by Tue, Nov 27. Orders must be pre-paid, and will be available for pick up at Zellerbach Playhouse Lobby.

Arts Education Brown Bag: The Power of Music: Music Education in Northern California
12 pm, Thu, Nov 29, Alumni House (included in conference registration)
Sabrina Klein Creative Education Consulting, Eric Booth, Author of The Music Teaching Artist's Bible and Tricia Tunstall, author of Changing Lives: Gustave Dudamel, El Sistema and the Transformative Power of Music, explore the current state of music in California public education, discuss best practices, trends and issues in music learning, share the successes and challenges of our own programs and look forward to the new blueprint for California schools. Beverages and cookies will be provided; lunches can be pre-ordered from Musical Offering or bring your own.


Wed, Nov 28
Thu, Nov 29

Venue: Zellerbach Playhouse

Price: Tickets $15 per day

Wheelchair Accessible
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