The Bahia Orchestra Project is a pioneer initiative in Brazil, modeled on the Venezuelan “El Sistema” program. It was founded in 2007 by the Brazilian pianist and conductor Ricardo Castro who remains its artistic and general director. Supported by the Government of Bahia, this orchestra is part of the long-term educational program NEOJIBA (State Youth and Children’s Orchestra Centers of Bahia). The young members of the Bahia Orchestra (ages range from 12-29) are all seasoned performers, having captivated audiences across the United States and Europe. In 2014, the orchestra embarked on a successful three-week tour, bringing audiences to their feet from Arizona to Indianapolis and up the California coast. Education and outreach are key components of the orchestra’s mission, both at home and abroad. The program is dedicated to transforming children’s lives through orchestral music- these young musicians are living proof of the success of this mission. Outreach programs were one of the many highlights of the 2014 tour; the orchestra engaged in activities with middle school and high school students, local youth orchestras as well as various university music programs.
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