The Abreu Fellows Program at New England Conservatory, the first initiative of El Sistema USA, has launched a tuition-free postgraduate certificate program for young musicians interested in becoming ambassadors of El Sistema, the Venezuelan music-education program founded in 1976 by José Antonio Abreu. A new website gives detailed information on the one-year program, which initially will admit eighteen musicians, who will be housed at New England Conservatory and spend a year studying in Boston and Caracas. Musicians will receive guided internships in the second semester with public programs that serve youth at risk, followed by a required subsequent year working to advance or found an El Sistema program outside Venezuela. The website serves both as a portal to promote the Abreu Fellows and as a support and advocacy network for people and organizations interested in El Sistema work and creating El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States. The curriculum, teaching-training materials, and documentation of the program will be available free of charge at the website. Earlier this year, Abreu received a $100,000 TED Prize, which he used to help fund the program.

Posted May 6, 2009

Photo of Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra by Jennifer Taylor

Photo of José Antonio Abreu by Nohely Oliveros