YOLA musicians visit Fukushima, Japan

Posted on: March 30, 2015

“When 15 student musicians in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles arrived here Thursday, the expectation was to find this coastal Japanese city, which suffered some of the worst damage from the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, a desolate place,” writes Mark Swed in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times. “The Los Angeles students had come to spend two days working with children in El Sistema Japan, a music education program that was set up in the wake of the catastrophe to help children cope with loss and trauma…. But what YOLA found in its first day here is a remarkable sense of renewal.… El Sistema Japan … is still a new program.… The YOLA players are older than the Japanese musicians, ranging in age from 13 to 17 and far more experienced.… All the kids will travel to Tokyo for a public workshop with [Gustavo] Dudamel in Suntory Hall on Sunday, before he leads the final concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Asian tour….  Any city that cares enough to build as fine a concert hall as [Fukushima] has under the most trying of circumstances imaginable, is a place where music, and perhaps miracles, might be made.”

Posted March 30, 2015

Pictured: Members of YOLA rehearse with members of the Soma Children’s Orchestra and El Sistema Japan. Photo by Gideon Brower