Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 12:33 UK

Conductor backs Scot's El Sistema

Gustavo Dudamel
Gustavo Dudamel is known as the South American lightning conductor

One of the world's leading conductors, who appeared at this year's Edinburgh International Festival, is backing a new music project in Scotland.

Gustavo Dudamel, principal conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, said he owed his success to El Sistema.

The Big Noise Orchestra in Stirling is based on the Venezuelan scheme, El Sistema, which has offered thousands of children the chance to play music.

Mr Dudamel conducted at the Usher Hall on Tuesday night.

Since he last visited, Scotland has begun its own version of El Sistema - with the first orchestra in the Raploch area of Stirling. Maestro Dudamel said it has his full support.

He told BBC Scotland: "I love what you people of the system are doing here in Scotland and I hope to help.

"I'm part of the Venezuelan system and if we have a new system here, I'm part of the Scotland system because it's a family."

On El Sistema he said: "It's my life, they gave me the opportunity to be a musician to change my life with music, the system is my family.

"I am very proud of my country."

Mr Dudamel is known as the South American lightning conductor for his animated concerts.


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