Abreu wins prize at TED conference

Posted on: February 10, 2009

Thursday (2/5) on Wired.com, Kim Zetter writes, “One wish has already come true for an oceanographer, an astronomer and a musician at the TED [Technology, Entertainment, Design] conference—and now they each get another big one, as recipients of the exclusive annual collective’s award of $100,000 and the chance to source a rarified crowd for solutions to a pressing pet project.” This year’s conference was held in Long Beach, California. “José Antonio Abreu, a former economist and trained musician whose has introduced some 200,000 Venezuelan children to classical music, wants the TED community to create a similar program ‘for at least 50 gifted young musicians’ in the United States and elsewhere. This year’s winners of the annual TED Prize shared their wishes Thursday afternoon at the conference, and offers to help have already come through. … Abreu is founder of El Sistema, the world-renowned music education program that has brought classical music training to more than 200,000 impoverished Venezuelan children and teens. Conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who recently became the new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, was trained under El Sistema.” Following remarks by Abreu—transmitted via a live video feed—Dudamel led a performance by El Sistema-trained musicians. “A TED attendee has already agreed to run an El Sistema program in the U.S.”