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Gustavo Dudamel on the Importance of Music Education

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Music education is central to Gustavo Dudamel’s mission. Having grown up in Venezuela’s El Sistema system, he’s seen firsthand the ways that providing young students with the means of making and understanding music can transform lives. “When you give an instrument to a young person that doesn’t have any hope,” he says, “you’re giving a world of possibilities.”

The profound power of music to unite, to promote communication and cross-cultural understanding, and to provide an expanded sense of self, is at the core of what Gustavo does as Music & Artistic Director of the LA Phil, and it’s reflected in everything from the music on his concerts to the composition of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), which was modeled on the El Sistema program. “It’s not only an orchestra, it’s not only a music school,” he says, “it’s a program for hope and inspiration.”