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How can music be a vehicle for social change? How can education initiatives wield the power of music for their community? How can music community initiatives succeed and make an impact in Hong Kong?

The Hong Kong Arts Festival will conduct a forum with the theme of CHANGING YOUNG LIVES, ONE NOTE AT A TIME, running parallel with the concert series in which Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) will make their first co-appearance in Hong Kong. The orchestra’s members, along with more than 787,000 children across Venezuela, have all been nurtured under El Sistema, a pioneering social initiative which provides opportunities for inclusion and growth for the most needy children through music participation.

Keynote speaker Mr. Eduardo Méndez, Executive Director of El Sistema, along with specialists across the music, education, and community sectors of Hong Kong, will share their insight and experience into how music contributes to the common good – from an individual level to society at large, and how community initiatives in music can make an impact on the Hong Kong community.

The event is regrettably cancelled

About El Sistema

When Dr. José Antonio Abreu founded Venezuela’s revolutionary youth music programme El Sistema in 1975, it was beyond his imagination that after some 40 years the project would have reached over 787,000 of the most vulnerable young people across the nation, transforming their life trajectories and nurturing internationally-recognised talents such as Gustavo Dudamel and the musicians of Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV).

More than just a set of pedagogical methods, El Sistema’s ideals and pursuit of ensemble musical excellence have inspired its young members in their own personal development while also effecting positive social change. The motto of “To play and to strive” (Tocar y Luchar) encapsulates the El Sistema spirit of combining exuberant and passionate music making with social action; theirs is a commitment to transmit musical values of solidarity, beauty, harmony and mutual compassion in order to fight against injustice, violence and other problems in society.