Sunday 1 March 2015

Sunday 1 March 2015
Milton Court Concert Hall
Keynote Session

To Teach is to Learn

Ricardo Castro, pianist, conductor and founder of Brazil’s NEOJIBA youth music training programme delivers his Keynote on the nature of learning (see keynotes section)

Ricardo Castro’s Keynote includes a collaborative performance of Mahler’s Symphony No 4 (last movement), bookended by 2 short new compositions especially composed for this occasion by the NEOJIBA composer group.

The performers, who have worked together over the last few days, are a mixture of NEOJIBA/Youth Orchestra of Bahia and Guildhall School students, including conducting Fellow Dinis Sousa and soprano Anna Gillingham.

Ricardo Castro

For biography see keynotes section.


Created in 2007 as one of the priority programs of the State Government of Bahia, NEOJIBA aims to achieve excellence and social integration through collective practice of music. In Brazil, NEOJIBA is the first governmental orchestra training program for children and youth based on the acclaimed “El Sistema,” a Venezuelan program created 39 years ago. NEOJIBA is an action of the Department of Social Development and Fight against Poverty (SEDES) and its founder director is the conductor Ricardo Castro. NEOJIBA directly benefits over 900 children and young people, members of the Center for Management and Professional Training Program at the Castro Alves Theater, and Centers for Orchestral Practice in Simões Filho, Feira de Santana and Trancoso, in the extreme south of Bahia, and in Salvador, Itapagipana Peninsula in Bairro da Paz and Nordeste de Amaralina. In addition, NEOJIBA pedagogically supports orchestral projects in the state, offering its achievements to young musicians from more than 20 towns across Bahia. NEOJIBA stands out for its focus on social integration, stimulating interaction between children and young people from various segments of society.

Orquestra juvenil da Bahia

The Youth Orchestra of Bahia with musicians aged 13-27 was founded in 2007 as the principal orchestra of the programme NEOJIBA – State Youth and Children’s Orchestra Centres of Bahia, Brazil. The orchestra’s chief conductor and artistic director is Ricardo Castro and the members of the orchestra work regularly with renowned international musicians. In 2009 after only two years since its foundation, the orchestra gave a performance at the 40th   Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival, toured the main capitals of Brazilian’s Northeast and took part in a pedagogical exchange with El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela. In 2010 the orchestra was resident at the Music Festival Santa Catarina and went on its first international tour with performances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. This was followed by concerts in the Southeast of Brazil and the live recording of their first DVD. In 2011, besides an important concert season at the Teatro Castro Alves in Salvador and performances in cities in the countryside of Bahia the orchestra was the first Brazilian orchestra to perform at the Royal Festival Hall in London, with the world-class Chinese pianist Lang Lang as soloist. August of the same year saw concerts in Berlin and Geneva with the pianist Maria João Pires which were recorded respectively by Deutsche Welle and Radio Suisse Romande. In 2012 the group was resident orchestra at the first festival ‘Música em Trancoso’ in the South of Bahia, side by side with celebrated musicians such as the Labeque sisters and Cesar Camargo Mariano. At the second edition of the festival the following year an important partnership was formed between NEOJIBA and musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In February 2014 the Orquestra Juvenil da Bahia embarked on its first tour to the United States, conducted by its artistic director and principal conductor Ricardo Castro. The ‘Airily elegant Bahia Orchestra Project’ (LA Times, Feb. 21) had 140 members and performed 12 concerts in 11 cities in the states of Arizona, Missouri, Indiana and California. Soloists included the world-class French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the young Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear and maestro Ricardo Castro, also on the piano.

dinis sousaDinis Sousa is the Guildhall School Fellow in Conducting.  He graduated in 2014 with Distinction from the Guildhall Artist in Performance Masters programme, studying piano with Philip Jenkins and Martin Roscoe, and conducting with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond. He has performed at venues such as the Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Halls and highlights this season include conducting the Southbank Sinfonia at Cadogan Hall and appearing as a soloist with Portugal’s Orquestra do Norte.

He is artistic director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning project that brings together Portuguese musicians that live all over Europe to play together in Portugal. The orchestra was founded in 2013 and has since done several tours in Portugal, performing in all the major concert halls to critical acclaim.

anna gillinghamDescribed as having ‘breathless sparkle’ and ‘a bell-like tone’ by The Times, Anna Gillingham recently completed her studies on the opera course at GSMD, where she graduated with distinction. Recent roles include the title role in the UK stage premiere of Donizetti’s Francesca di Foix, Salome in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista and Marguerite Faust. Anna has performed at London’s most prestigious venues, including Wigmore Hall, Barbican Concert Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Purcell Room as well as in venues across Germany and Italy, and on In Tune for Radio 3. Anna read Music at Queens’ College, Cambridge and graduated with double first-class honours in 2010.

Guildhall School students & NEOJIBA instrumentalists:

Guilherme Teixeira da Silva, violin* Katherine Meyers, violin Dâmaris dos Santos, violin* Bacem Anas Romdhani, violin Waibun Chan, viola Jhonatan dos Santos, viola* Romana Kaiser, cello Caio Barbosa Cunha de Azevedo, composer, cello* Jose Moreira, double bass Rosemary Bowker, flute Erica Barreto Smetak, oboe* Indira Dourado Monteiro da Costa, clarinet* Sebastiàn Espinosa Carrasco, piano Aline Falcão Novais de Almeida, composer, harmonium* Cássio Fernando Santos Bitencourt,  percussion* Dorothy Raphael, percussion

Jamberê Ribeiro de Cerqueira, composer (not performing)*

*members of NEOJIBA / Youth Orchestra of Bahia

With thanks to Eliot Shrimpton, Guildhall School Head of Academic Studies (Drama)

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