Master class

School for the Ear, Nikolaus Harnoncourt in rehearsal with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (I/II)

Beethoven's Symphony No. 5

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Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra

The Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, the Salzburg Festival's resident orchestra of 2008, is a product of the "Sistema de Orquestas" set up to allow children of all social levels to learn a musical instrument and play in an ensemble. Today, 250,000 youths learn from 15,000 instructors, performing in over 120 youth orchestras and nearly 60 children's orchestras. Some of the Sistema's finest players were picked to form the S.B.Y.O. and to work in Salzburg with such outstanding musicians as Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Martha Argerich. "School of Listening" documents their artistic growth and features works by Beethoven and Mahler. Conducting here is the Sistema's most celebrated alumnus—the great Gustavo Dudamel, born in 1981.

In the first part of this documentary, you can attend Harnoncourt's master class on his particular approach to Beethoven's most famous symphony. Adding historical details and humour, he gives us a wonderful lesson of musical pedagogy.

A closer look: composers and works

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