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Berlin in Lights

Military Parents
For seventeen days in November 2007, Carnegie Hall joined forces with cultural institutions around the five boroughs to bring a cross-cultural exchange between two capitals of artistic expression — New York and Berlin.

At the center of this festival was the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic. The orchestra, under the direction of Chief Conductor Sir Simon Rattle, performed many pieces throughout the festival, including MAHLER'S SYMPHONY NO. 9 at Carnegie Hall. The score was written during the time that Mahler worked as a conductor in New York.

Sir Simon Rattle has served as mentor to both the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, and to its conductor and music director, Gustavo Dudamel. In Venezuela, music education begins very early in life, with many children taking part in "El Sistema," the country's national music program that gives many poor kids the opportunity to play music. With 250,000 Venezuelan students playing in youth orchestras, more participate in music than in organized sports. The most talented of these musicians move on
to the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, where they travel the world, performing in the finest concert halls. During its visit to New York City, the Orchestra played at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel and Sir Simon Rattle.

The grand finale of the festival was the performance of THE RITE OF SPRING, in which more than one hundred New York City public school students took to the stage of the beautiful 3,500 seat United Palace Theater to dance to Igor Stravinsky's dissonant score, as played by the Berlin Philharmonic. The students — the majority of them with limited dance backgrounds — worked intensely for six weeks to master the moves created by renowned choreographer Royston Maldoom. New York Voices followed the students of Bread and Roses Integrated Arts High School — one of five schools involved in the project — as they mastered this beautiful and complicated dance.

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Rite of Spring: New York City public school students dance with the Berlin Philharmoniker.View this story
View this storyMahler's 9th: Sir Simon Rattle describes the connections between Mahler and New York.
Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra: The brightest products of Venezuela's national music system perform in the world's finest concert halls.View this story
View this storyA Conversation with Gustavo Dudamel: Rafael Pi Roman sits down with this rising star of classical music.
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