Organization Speaker

Eduardo Méndez, Executive Director

From an early age he began to study violin at the nuclei of El Sistema in Mérida. He
was professor and violinist of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra. Since 2003, he has held
the positions of head of the Academic Division, national director of “Nuclei” (music centers) and sectorial director of Academic Music.

Academic Theme 

Describe the experiences and academic projections of musical programs inspired by El Sistema, with the purpose of interpreting the set of its structures, methodologies, pedagogical dynamics and its impact on the integral development of children and youth.

Academic Speaker

Enrique Márquez, United States.

Manhattan School of Music Precollege &; Msm Summer

Ethics, Aesthetics and Education: Paradigms and realities in music education in the 21st century.

Is a leader in arts based in New York. The scope of his experience spans the performing arts, arts administration, educational leadership, as well as public policy
and administration.

Marquez most recently served as assistant dean of Youth Programs and director of
precollege at the Manhattan School of Music, and as director of music at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He served as events manager for the Department of
Music at Harvard University. In this capacity he served as a administrator of the Fromm Music Foundation which has commissioned over 400 new compositions.

Academic Speaker

Xavier Bouvier, Europa Suiza.

Geneva Haute École De Musique

Recibió el Premio de Composición y el Diploma en Teoría Musical del Conservatorio de Música de Ginebra. Tras estudiar matemáticas durante dos años en la École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, se dedica a la composición y teoría musical, así como a proyectos de investigación artística y académica.
En el Conservatorio de Música de Ginebra fue profesor de contrapunto y análisis, jefe de la biblioteca del conservatorio y, en 2001, subdirector. Actualmente es Jefe de Estudios de la recientemente rebautizada Alta Escuela de Música de Ginebra.

Academic Speaker

Karen Cueva, América, Estados Unidos.

Carnegie Hall, Weill Music Institute 

Es violinista, educadora y administradora artístico peruano-estadounidense. En 2015, Karen cofundó la Du Bois Orchestra, una orquesta con sede en Boston que buscaba amplificar el repertorio orquestal interpretando obras de compositores subrepresentados. Apasionada por garantizar que los jóvenes tengan un acceso equitativo a una instrucción musical de alta calidad, Karen actualmente se desempeña como subdirectora de programas de aprendizaje y participación en el Weill Music Institute del Carnegie Hall.

Academic Speaker

Mark Churchill, América Estados Unidos.

New England Conservatory

Es Decano Emérito del Departamento de Educación Preparatoria y Continua (ahora Educación Ampliada) del Conservatorio de Nueva Inglaterra, que dirigió durante 31 años. Durante su liderazgo de la Escuela Preparatoria, el programa se hizo conocido como uno de los mejores de su tipo en la nación, enfatizando la capacitación seria y profesional para el estudiante preuniversitario. Estableció la Escuela de Educación Continua y el departamento de Colaboraciones Comunitarias, además de numerosos programas comunitarios y asociaciones locales, nacionales e internacionales, en particular NEC en Walnut Hill, la Orquesta de las Américas, Proyecto STEP y El Sistema USA.

Academic Speaker

Thibault Vieux, Europa Francia.

Ópera de Paris y Conservatorio Nacional
Superior de Música y Danza

Academic Speaker

Andrés David Ascanio, América, Venezuela

Academic Music Director

He began his musical training with the piano at the age of 4. At the Emil Friedman
School, at the age of 11, he began his trumpet studies. In 2000, after an audition, he
joined the National Children’s Orchestra of Venezuela. In 2004, after auditioning, he
joined the trumpet section of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela,
with which he has performed under the direction of maestros Claudio Abbado, Sir
Simon Rattle and Gustavo Dudamel, among others. He is also a member of the Simón Bolívar Trumpet Ensemble. With these ensembles he has performed inseveral Venezuelan cities and has participated in international tours throughout the five continents.

 Social  Theme

Interpret the results, experiences and best practices of the social, cultural and human development impact of music education and the collective practice of music in the students, representatives and trainers of the various programs.

Social Speaker

María Guerrero, Europe, Spain.

Executive President of the Fundación para la Acción Social por la Música

(Foundation for Social Action for Music)

María Guerrero Sanz (Madrid, 1983) created in 2013 the Foundation for Social Action for Music, inspired by the social and pedagogical model devised by José Antonio Abreu, Venezuelan musician, economist, politician, activist and educator. She iscurrently executive president of the organization, which seeks to empower children and young people at risk of social exclusion through music.

Social Speaker

José Ramón Espinoza, América, Venezuela.


Profesional de la salud, con cerca de 20 años de experiencia en temas de derechos de la niñez trabajando con UNICEF.
Actualmente se desempeña como representante adjunto en UNICEF Venezuela, y con anterioridad había ocupado el mismo cargo en Honduras.
Parte de su experiencia con UNICEF incluye también cargos en planeación, monitoreo y evaluación en la oficina regional de UNICEF en Panamá y en Nicaragua.

Social Speaker

Xiomara Alemán, América, Venezuela

 El Sistema Impact Evaluation

She worked at the BID as a social protection specialist for 23 years, formulating,vexecuting and evaluating social projects in several countries (Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador), being the leader of the Project of Orchestras and Choirs of El Sistema and of the Evaluation study of the impact of El Sistema. Currently, she is a private consultant in social projects. She is executive director of the SPES consortium, formed by several NGOs.

Social Speaker

Stanford Thompson.  América,United States.

 Equity Arc

15 Years transcribing the El Sistema Philosophy in the United States.

He is a leading voice in promoting cultural equity and change leadership for nonprofit arts organizations. Recognized as a TED Fellow, Stan founded and led the
internationally recognized Play On Philly organization and served as founding board
chair of El Sistema USA. He is part of the Global Leaders Institute and earned degrees in trumpet performance from the Curtis Institute of Music and El Sistema
Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory.

Social Speaker

Luis Velásquez, América, Venezuela. 

El Sistema

Musico y docente, ha participado como ponente en congresos de talla nacional e internacional en el área de educación musical, especial, entre otras. Actualmente cursa estudios Doctorales en Ciencias Administrativas en la Universidad Nacional Experimental Simón Rodríguez y es investigador activo en el área de las ciencias sociales.

Research Theme

Exchange, documentation, methodological construction and dissemination of
scientific knowledge about the practices and experiences of El Sistema and the
programs inspired by the Institution.

Research Speaker

Alix Sarrouy, Portugal.

Institute of Ethnomusicology Craftsmanship of Music Education: between method, guataca and evaluation.

Present and discuss his new book based on the work on El Sistema, at the nucleus
of Santa Rosa de Agua-Maracaibo. Comment on the other programs inspired by El Sistema that he has studied: Geração Orchestra; Neojiba; El Sistema Greece; Orchestra of Dreams.


Research Speaker

Francisco Javier Romero, Spain.

University of Alicante

Francisco Javier Romero Naranjo holds a PhD from the Alexander von Humboldt University of Berlin, a Master's degree in Clinical Neuropsychology from the European University of Madrid and a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland (USA). He is currently a tenured professor at the University of Alicante and coordinator of the Department of Didactics of Musical Expression.

Research Speaker

Eric Booth, Europa, England. 

In 2015, Eric Booth was honored with the highest award in arts education (Americans for the Arts, Arts Education Leadership Award), and was named one of the 50 most influential people in the arts in the United States.
He began as a successful Broadway actor, and became a businessman (in 7 years, his company became the largest of its kind in the USA). He is the author of eight books and some 35 published articles – his most recent book Making Change:
Teaching Artists and Their Role in Shaping a Better World has been widely received
as a tool for building the global field and will soon be released in Spanish.

Research Speaker

Franka Verhagen, Sweden.

Dream Orchestra

After graduating from the Conservatory of Maastricht in 1985, I found myself at the
beginning of a permanent lifelong journey of learning and research. In Venezuela,
where I lived and worked for 33 years, I received many opportunities and gained
extensive experience.
In addition to my activities as an artist, I was a professor at the National Experimental University of the Arts (Unearte), in Caracas, for 23 years (1987-2010), where I was in charge of the Guitar Chair and the Ear Training Chair.

Research Speaker

Mayra León, Venezuela.

Director of the Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Music and of the Research and Documentation Center of El Sistema.

Musician, University Professor. Doctor in Education, Master in Arts, mention in
Aesthetics and Professor in Music Education. Mandolinist, Director of Choirs and Orchestras. She started conducting childrens choirs in El Sistema with Maestra Irina Capriles in the nucleus of La Rinconada with the children singers of Caracas (niños cantores de Caracas), later she develops her pedagogical work and conduction of orchestras of initiation of children and youth in the nucleus of San Agustin, Guarenas and in the Montalban’s Child Academic Center. She is also part of groups such asCantoría Alberto Grau, Musicam Sacra, Orfeón Juan Bautista Plaza, Multifonía with Maestro Iván Adler, participating in different events, operas, symphonic-choral and orchestral productions with national and international masters.

Artistic Theme

Share and reflect on the experiences and projects of artistic nature that develop
programs, what are the perspectives in terms of artistic programming for social and human development of children and young musicians.

Artistic Speaker

Juan Andrés Rojas, Colombia.

Young Philharmonic of Colombia.

Innovating in music, #Lajoven a dynamic laboratory of creation (Filarmónica Joven De Colombia).

Innovation leader of the Bolivar Davivienda Foundation, social communicator and cultural journalist at the University of La Sabana (Colombia), Master in Management
of International Artistic Projects and Management of Cultural Institutions at the
Université Lumière Lyon 2 (France).

Innovation Coach under the Systematic Inventive Thinking methodology. More than 10 years of experience working in strategic communications, public relations and cultural management for various social and artistic organizations, with experiences in Colombia, Germany, Austria, France, Norway, Iceland and the United States.
Member of the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO).

Artistic Speaker

Marshall Marcus 

Founder and President of El Sistema Europe

Marshall Marcus is also the Executive and Artistic Director of The European Union
Youth Orchestra, CEO of the International Youth Foundation of GB, one of the Ambassadors of the 101 Europe Program, and an advisor to the National Orchestra
For All (NOFA) and its Nuclei.

Artistic Speaker

Igor Lanz, Europa, Suecia

Ex Director Ejecutivo de El Sistema


Artistic Speaker

Lourdes Sánchez, Venezuela.

Choral Director

Four decades and a long career as a chorister, choir director and her solid musical training have allowed her to assume the commitment to develop and strengthen the choral movement of El Sistema, from her position as a teacher in nuclei, performer as a member of orchestras, to choir director and trainer of generations of musicians.


El Sistema in the world


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