Monday, September 01, 2008

Art and class

As adult education for anything other than workplace skills disappears down the tubes this made great reading. Ed Vulliamy writes, in a profile of Simon Rattle, of El Sistema, a Venuezelan scheme "whereby the poorest barrio children in shanties beleaguered by gang warfare and drugs are organised into orchestras to play classical music".
It was the brainchild, 30 years ago, of an extraordinary man and inspiration to Rattle, José Antonio Abreu, who once told me, unforgettably: 'The rich owe the poor a debt which they will never pay materially. But they can repay it culturally, so that to deprive the poor of great, high art is a terrible form of oppression.'
Nice if they repaid the debt in full though. In the meantime, some music.

And an encore


Francis Sedgemore said...

I normally can't stand Shostakovich, but that performance was outstanding.

Harry Barnes said...

Thanks. I did not know about them, so I have something exciting to pursue.

Brigada Flores Magon said...

And, thanks to Richard Holloway, umquhile Anglican Bishop of Edinburgh and current chair of the Scottish Arts Council, a Scottish version of El Sistema started up this year in the Raploch, the most deprived council scheme in Stirling. As far as the rich giving something towards it, don't hold your breath, what with the Duke of Sutherland demanding £100 million to let the National Gallery in Edinburgh keep 'his' paintings on the wall.