When Gustavo Dudamel, at the age of 28, ascended the podium at the Hollywood Bowl for his inaugural concert as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he immediately captivated the hearts of his audience, just as he had the minds of music critics who designated him a modern-day Leonard Bernstein. In Changing Lives, the maestro's story becomes the entry point to an equally captivating subject: El Sistema, the music education program that nurtured his musical talent, first as a young violinist and then as a budding conductor under the mentorship of its founder, Jos Antonio Abreu.
In some of the bleakest corners of the world, an unprecedented movement is taking root. From the favelas of Brazil to the Maori villages in New Zealand, from occupied Palestine to South Central Los Angeles, musicians with strong social consciences are founding intensive orchestra programs for children in need. In this captivating and inspiring account, authors Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth tell the remarkable story of the international El Sistema movement.