Heliópolis, its orquestras and choirs and Instituto Baccarelli
From the ashes of a fire, in 1996, the first orchestra in a slum in the world was born, the Heliópolis Symphonic Orchestra, directed today by one of the greatest conductors of our time, Isaac Karabtchevsky. From a solidarity initiative by Maestro Silvio Baccarelli to help the Heliópolis community after a tragedy, one of the main nonprofit organizations in Brazil emerged, dedicated to the cultural, social and educational areas.
An agent of social transformation through art, the Baccarelli Institute offers annually music and art education to more than 1,200 underprivileged and socially vulnerable children and young people. The Institute's socio-cultural programs are committed to providing more than music education, but also personal and career development.
The program started 23 years ago, offering music classes for only 36 children and teenagers in an auditorium of the founder. Then, the program adapted the space of an old juice factory for classes and rehearsals, until it conquered its own headquarters in the Community of Heliópolis, a slum with more than 120 thousand inhabitants. The 5,000 m² building complex serves more than 1,200 children and young people aged between 4 and 25 annually. And it currently has 16 classes of music introduction, 13 choirs, 48 individual and group lessons for various instruments and 4 orchestras.
Emerging as main groups are the Heliópolis Symphony Orchestra and the Heliópolis Choir, which are direct results of all the work over the years, standing out among the main youth groups in the country. The recognition in the music scene is proven by the constant relationship with great soloists and conductors from Brazil and the world, who offer masterclasses at the institute and play with the orchestra and the choirs. Crowning this merit, the Indian conductor Zubin Mehta, one of the greatest conductors in the world, accepted to be a patron of the institution in 2005.
Each result achieved by thousands of students and alumni around the world, living their dreams, is celebrated. Since they prove that by having access to culture and education one can go much further, reaffirming the transformational power of music and art.