“If you put a violin in a child’s hands that child will never hold a gun.”                                    -Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu

A message from Jamie Bernstein, Director

My father, Leonard Bernstein, believed with all his heart in the power of music to transform the lives of young people.  I wish he’d lived long enough to see El Sistema – a Venezuelan youth orchestra program that is bringing social transformation to thousands of disadvantaged children, all around the world.

With its combination of youthful music-making, love of learning, and dedication to making the world a better place, El Sistema speaks to everything my father cared deeply about. Making this film has been a way for me to be my father’s eyes and ears as I explore the wonders of El Sistema; by showing it to the world, I’m also sharing it with him.

Leonard Bernstein isn’t here to see what’s happening, but you are.  I hope you’ll join us on our amazing journey.


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