Fighting Poverty with Music Education

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

As the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela arrives for its Carnegie Hall residency, Tricia Tunstall, author of Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music, talks about how the music education program "El Sistema" blends music and politics. 


Tricia Tunstall

Comments [13]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

BRAVO MAESTRO GUSTAVO DUDAMEL ! We have come to expect thrilling performances from you no matter what the program, but this was SPECIAL and thaks to Carnegie Hall and WQXR. My start in my own career literally began at 10 years of age so I can appreciate early career beginnings. Since my childhood at age 10, when on WNYC I heard the Rhine Journey and Siegfried's Funeral Music from Gotterdammerung with Toscanini conducting his New York Philharmonic version before the Symphony of the Air much later recorded version, I have been an ardent fan of Wagner's oeuvre. I started vocalizing with my child's voice on the music I studied from the Wagner partiturs [full orchestral scores] and piano vocal scores of Wagner's operas that were donated to the Jersey Avenue Main Library of Jersey City by the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration as part of their Works Project Administration. Wagner's music convinced me that I JUST HAD TO COMPOSE AND SING. Because of that ALLADIN'S LAMP inspiration, I have made a career as a Wagnerian heldentenor and an opera composer. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. Also, Florestan's monologue "Gott! welch dunkel hier!' from "FIDELIO" and "Sound an Alarm" from Handel's "JUDAS MACCABAEUS." They can be heard from my live performance on my three websites,, ,, and They received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. However, it's important to revere and enjoy the MASTERPIECES of art, music, literature, architecture and science in its multiple formats . I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles. On my websites one may download, free, at "Recorded Selections" my singing of Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Tristan, Siegmund, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Rienzi, Walther von Stolzing, Otello, Eleazar and Florestan.


Dec. 11 2012 01:28 PM
Chavez = Ignorant Hater

"On 24 December 2005, Chávez stated that "[t]he world is for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the descendants of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendants of the same ones that kicked Bolívar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over there in Santa Marta, in Colombia. A minority has taken possession all of the wealth of the world."[240] ...
According to a report documenting hundreds of antisemitic actions of the police and other government offices, the creation of a newly formed antisemitic rhetoric in government sponsored newspapers and the rise of antisemitic attacks against Jewish people and Jewish organisations,
in a country that was totally lacking all these phenomena before Chávez,
points to his personal involvement in active antisemitism.
For example two attacks to the Jewish school, searching for "weapons of the conspiracy", one in the morning, during k12 age children entrance to studies, the second during a wedding in one of the school's halls in the evening.[242]
In the 2008 a synagogue in Caracas was attacked by a mob, with no protection from the police. The Simon Wiesenthal Center claimed this was directly tied to Chávez, citing the article in commentary.[243]
In 2012 elections Chavez repeated his antisemitic attacks against his primary opponent Henrique Capriles Radonski[244]
The Jewish population has resided from 20,000 affiliated Jews (estimated at 30,000 of Jewish descent) before Chavez came to power, to 14,000 in 2003 and 9000 in 2012 due to the prevalent antisemitism under his rule.[245]

(From wikipedia)

Dec. 04 2012 09:45 PM

Why is Brian Lerner calling Chávez a dictator...? this needs an apology...Great that this project is featured on WNYC, you get the credit for it, but this comment about Chavez shows how disconnected this radio station is from the latino and latin american realities and communities in this city and how we the few bilingual and bicultural listeners that tunes into to WNYC would perceive this comment. Disconnection is a really big problem. But I'm not surprised, this reminds me one more time that WNYC still has a log way to go about communicating with latinas/os and latin american immigrant communities living in really need a better advisor about these affairs.

Dec. 04 2012 02:37 PM

Bloomberg is evicting occupy sandy relief. Stop censoring this please.

Dec. 04 2012 01:32 PM

We've removed several comments. Refrain from personal attacks, and do not use profanity. Let's talk about complex issues in a civil manner.

BL Show Moderator

Dec. 04 2012 11:52 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Chavez was "democratically elected" as much as Bloomberg was.

Dec. 04 2012 11:27 AM
GC from Manhattan

To John from the office .. My ancestors did not come here on a plane, or were rejects sent here on some boat. MY ancestors walked here about 4000 years ago .. I do not need an immigrant like you to tell me where I should go.. What authority gives you any moral ability to tell me to go elsewhere? unless your roots have been here for at least 1000 years your self. I guess the truth hurts you. You should have turned the dial to Fox noise, if you need to be reassured about the myths you need to function within the mindset you cling to...which is illegitimate.

Dec. 04 2012 11:16 AM
Jorge from nyc

WNYC could do a real service to NYC schools (and indeed education across the US), by following up on the comments of the last caller to this segment. Our education system really is suffering deeply from having music and art programs gutted. This is a real problem and needs to be investigated.

Dec. 04 2012 11:10 AM
Michelle from NYC

Chavez is not a dictator, he was democratically elected.

Dec. 04 2012 10:58 AM

Elected president is not a dictator

Dec. 04 2012 10:58 AM
AS from Queens

I think this segment will have the "Government can't do any thing " crowd turning the dial .....

Dec. 04 2012 10:56 AM
bob from NY

Hugo Chavez dictator? Come on Mike give us a break.

Dec. 04 2012 10:54 AM
GC from Manhattan

I thought Venezuela was this horrible, Communist, Socialist country run by a Dictator that could NEVER do any thing positive or up lifting (except as poor, deprived , banana republic third world country, dopnate millions of gallons of Fuel Oil to the poor in the RICHEST and what will soon be the largest energy producer in the world)?

Do Americans realize the BS and propaganda we are given by the news agencies that shape our opinions of ourselves and others?

I wil be that very few of the listeners of this segment will ever realize what it means about the lies we are told about this country , other countries and ourselves.

Dec. 04 2012 10:52 AM

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