“Passeurs D’Arts,” In France, Creates A Teachers’ Ensemble

The French El Sistema-inspired program Passeurs D’Arts has created an unusual new ensemble: “Tutti Maestro”, an orchestra comprised entirely of its teaching artists.  On March 23rd, 2018, Tutti Maestro gave a concert in the magnificent Église St. André de l’Europe, in Paris.

The members of Tutti Maestro are teachers in the various locations where Passeurs d’Arts programs take place, including two Parisian banlieues and also the cities of Fougères in Brittany and Evreux in Normandy.  In addition to performing as a full orchestra, they also perform in chamber ensembles.  Their leader is Yefren Carrero, the young Venezuelan conductor who is also the music director of Passeurs D’Arts.

Passeurs D’Arts (the name means “those who transmit the arts”) began five years ago, founded by Jean-Claude Decalonne and dedicated to the idea that all children deserve “a rigorous and fulfilling artistic education, along the principles formulated by Maestro José Antonio Abreu in Venezuela.”  The program serves children who are most often excluded from arts education. It currently includes 280 children and young people, in four program sites. In addition, Passeurs D’Arts has recently expanded to include programs for children and youths with special needs, with the goal of enabling such children to play in concerts with all other children.  Passeurs D’Arts has also been working to create children’s choirs in refugee centers, inspired by the example of El Sistema Greece in the refugee camps of Athens.

In the new Tutti Maestro orchestra, each musician is a virtuoso “animated by orchestral passion and by the joy of communicative, exciting playing.” The ensemble was formed to provide a good example for the children; often, it performs with the children.

Date Published: 30 March 2018

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