Alex Klein, former principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has been appointed music director of the Paraiba Symphony Orchestra in his native Brazil with a mandate to put the state – bigger than Switzerland – back on the musical map.
First up, he will be establishing a Venezuela-like sistema. Here’s what he tells Slipped Disc:
Plans call for about 20 youth orchestras to span the state by the end of 2013 – some of those are already in existence and will be reigned into the System with a unified curriculum and approach, as well as a clever interaction of young soloists contests, conferences and opportunities for conductors.
The example of the Venezuelan Sistema is obvious, as it has demonstrated
to be a superb tool in using music as a driving force in teaching
citizenship in risky areas. But the Paraiba Sistema will take that in
a new direction, it will also apply to the dozens of Symphonic Bands
and Fanfares in the state, as well as choirs. The state’s immense
musical heritage will be valued into the symphonic world through
competitions for your composers and young arrangers who will help us
establish the main musical bread-and-butter of our Sistema. We will
also expand the Sistema idea into the universities, leading young
musicians all the way from their childhood beginnings all the way to
professional life (whether or not they will end up as musicians).
Alex, who helped raise world outcry when Roberto Minczuk sought to replace old players for new in the Brazil Symphony Orchestra, pledges that none of his musicians in Paraiba will be required to reaudition for their jobs.
We wish him, and them, well.