In my project, I will focus on the world of classical music.  Traditionally, classical music is most closely associated with Europe (where it originated) and here in the United States which has a strong classical tradition beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century. However, in recent decades there has been a huge growth of the art form in Latin America, most notably in Venezuela, which has a socialized music education and professional orchestra program.  My goal for the project is to research orchestras and classical music development not only in Venezuela but throughout Latin America, through research and conversations.


I will ask Raphael Jimenez, the conductor of the Oberlin Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, who is a product of El Sistema, to talk with me about his upbringing in classical music in Venezuela.  I am curious to know how it was when he was growing up and how things have developed and/or changed in his opinion.  Once I talk with him I will lay out a more detailed plan for this (ie one long discussion, multiple short discussions).  I will also talk with my friend Pablo who plays the oboe in the con to gain his perspective on classical music in Columbia.

In addition to these conversations I will research other classical institutions and programs throughout latin america by looking up major orchestras and their histories and finding relevant articles via


I am not sure what to expect to discover, but my main questions going into this are:

How prominent is music education for youth in individual countries and throughout Latin America? and

How is classical music generally viewed by the public and how big of a roll does it play in the cultural atmospheres of Latin America?


I will post regular updates on my blog.