Cuba50

CUBA 50 is a hub for any event, large or small that aims to celebrate and showcase the best of Cuban culture and talent in 2009.

From world class touring music and dance to national and regional theatres, galleries and exhibitions, Cuba 50 will be out there offering something for everyone, from live performances and film festivals to schools workshops and seminars.

Alongside sporting links to the Olympiad and Sustainable Living initiatives, this will be the biggest ever celebration of Cuban culture, of art, music, education, dance, film, photography and theatre.

From a country renowned for its vibrant cultural mix, events will be taking place across the UK throughout 2009 and culminating with the Cuba 50 highlight, a major London festival in Summer 2009.

From the rhythms of salsa and the cha cha cha, to the beauty of Afro Cuban dance to the precision of formal ballet; theatre, in a specially commissioned series of readings and performances of Cuban drama; seminars and talks from leading cultural commentators; art and photography exhibitions in some of London’s leading galleries; Cuban film festivals around the country; and the fantastic Barbican Cuba50 festival, featuring some of the world’s best musicians.

People across the world have come to love Cuba through seeing and experiencing the island’s culture, born of hundreds of years of history and a rich mix of cultures.

This is a unique festival and the biggest mix of performances and events to celebrate Cuban culture in Europe – Cuba 50!

Check out the Cuba50 website for more info.

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The Sound of El Sistema

The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra contains the best high school musicians from Venezuela’s life-changing music program, El Sistema. Led here by Gustavo Dudamel, they play Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2.

The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra will be in residency at the Southbank Centre, London in April 2009.

For tickets go to http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk. Tickets are limited and dates are virtually all sold out.

‘Music-making this joyous is in a class of its own. If you hear of the orchestra coming within 500 miles of you, book straight away’ (Telegraph).

For more on El Sistema click here

“The Future of Classical Music lies in Venezuela”

Excerpt from documentary ‘Mata Tigre” 2006

Placido Domingo cried when he saw the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra perform. The world-renowned opera singer confessed that the concert evoked the strongest emotions he had ever felt.

Sir Simon Rattle, director of the Berlin Philharmonic, swore that the country’s youth orchestras were doing the most important work in classical music anywhere in the world.

And former Berlin Philharmonic director Claudio Abbado only needed to see one performance by the orchestra to invite the Venezuelans to play in Germany. Continue reading