A select group of 11 string students, who are part of the Santa Rosa Symphony’s Simple Strings Honor Ensemble, have been invited to participate in El Sistema Seminario this Saturday, a day-long event at UC Berkeley that includes workshops, demonstrations and a Side by Side performance with the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and members of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. (SBSOV.)
The El Sistema Seminario will be attended by the charismatic young conductor Gustavo Dudamel, founder of Venezuela’s El Sistema social action music network, which inspired the Simply Strings Program based at the Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School in Roseland. In the Santa Rosa Symphony educational program, children in the second grade begin daily intensive ensemble instruction two hours a day, five days a week after school.
The El Sistema Seminario is part of the launch of Cal Performances’s inaugural Berkeley Radical, a five-day residency with Dudamel and the SBSOV aimed at connecting the college campus with the community.
As part of that residency, Dudamel will lead the SBSOV at 8 p.m. tonight in a concert of Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 7 and 8 at Zellerbach Hall and at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a concert of Beethoven’s Ninth at the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley. The Friday night concert will be broadcast live on KDFC-FM, 89.9.
This Saturday, the SBSOV led by Joshua Dos Santos will present a Family Concert at 11 a.m. at Zellerbach Hall that will be introduced by Gustavo Dudamel. Tickets are $16 adults, $8 ages 16 and under.
The public can also attend a free, open rehearsal at 1 p.m. of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra at Zellerbach Hall and the 3:30 p.m. Side By Side Seminario with the SBSOV, UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and young musicians from a half-dozen local music programs, including the Simply Strings students from Sonoma County. The day concludes with a free screening of “Crescendo: The Power of Music,” a film about the rise of El Sistema in the U.S. at Wheeler Auditorium.
Advanced registration recommended for free events. Tickets are selling out quickly to both of the highly anticipated performances of the SBSOV conducted by Dudamel. calperformances.org.