Just in: El Sistema wins US state funding

Just in: El Sistema wins US state funding


norman lebrecht

December 02, 2014

The Venezuelan music education system, criticised for its close proximity to a dangerous regime, has won funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for its out-of-school work with marginal youngsters.

Read more here.


sistema europe orch


  • Fiddleman says:

    This post is quite misleading. No money is going to Venezuela’s Sistema. There are Sistema-modeled programs all over the world, quite independent from Abreu’s organization. From the article:

    “But now Massachusetts will be the first state to provide modest but still meaningful government grants to El Sistema-inspired programs. The dozen or so organizations and schools receiving the first round of funding include the social service Kids 4 Harmony program in Pittsfield, Sistema Somerville and the Cape Conservatory in Hyannis.”

    There are “Sistema” programs in the UK as well. You can rest well knowing that Massachusetts is not funding Abreu, Dudamel, or the Maduro regime.

  • JAMA11 says:

    Read more here, and see how Norman has mucked up the basic facts of yet another story!

    Always, always click on links embedded in blog posts. It’s truly remarkable how often the blogger will print an outright lie, then say “read about it here!” and the “here” clearly shows the truth, but the blogger knows nobody clicks on links and just puts it there for window dressing.

    Not saying that’s what Norman did, of course, but this post is a salutary reminder.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Even if they were paying the Venezuelan org I don’t think anyone credits El Sistema with creating the current regime in that country. American remains safe.

  • New Yorker says:

    totally misleading vis-a-vis what everybody said above.

    also, are you saying that “The Sistema program is too close to the Venezuelan Fascists” or are you just saying “I hear that somebody say that the Sistema is too close to the Fascists”?

    Cheap shot. Take a position, have a point of view, but don’t just bait. Or the moral high ground you take on many other topics is undermined.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      As we have stated before, Sistema is far too close to Chavez and his successors.

      • V.Lind says:

        But the article you link to is not ABOUT El Sistema. Massachusetts is not supporting the regime. You have misconstrued the meaning of the piece.

        Close to the regime or not, El Sistema has provided inspiration and hope to thousands of people. It has inspired some governments elsewhere to attempt schemes based upon its principles. Massachusetts is funding a scheme conceived upon similar lines to Venezuela’s longstanding nurture of talent. What the hell is wrong with that? I believe Glasgow does something similar, and Mew Brunswick in Canada, among other places. The scales are smaller but the idea is similar –to provide an alternative, to kids without the financial resources for private tuition, to participate in music.

  • May says:

    With every misleading and/or inaccurate Slipped Disc headline, I seriously begin to doubt everything Mr Lebrecht has every ascertained in his many books. I do hope that the Slipped Disc headlines are written by an intern and not by him, otherwise the fact-checking on this blog are simply daggy, not to mention downright unprofessional.

  • V.Lind says:

    This is not a misleading headline. The misleading content is in the content of the post:

    “The Venezuelan music education system, criticised for its close proximity to a dangerous regime, has won funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council…”

    Jama11 is right: it pays to read source material around here. Someone on the Slipped Disc team is, at best, a careless reader. Bias is one thing; misrepresentation of facts, even if due to carelessness rather than malice, is very unprofessional. And should be acknowledged.