When 28-year-old Gustavo Dudamel took the podium at the Hollywood Bowl for his inaugural concert as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2009, he immediately captivated the hearts of his audience and the minds of critics, who designated him a modern-day Leonard Bernstein. In Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music (W.W. Norton & Co., 2012; paperback, 2013), the young maestro’s story becomes the entry point to an equally captivating subject: El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education program that took Dudamel from child violinist to world-renowned conductor. The book traces the remarkable story of El Sistema’s creation in 1975 by Venezuelan musician, economist, and visionary José Antonio Abreu, and its development into one of the world’s most unusual and powerful programs linking music education with social transformation.
Hardcover and paperback available for purchase on Amazon.com.




Tricia Tunstall, author of Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music (W. W. Norton & Co., 2012), is a writer and music educator who specializes in El Sistema in Venezuela, in the United States, and around the world. She lectures frequently on El Sistema-related subjects, focusing on the potential lessons of El Sistema for music educators and social change advocates everywhere. She also consults, advises, and does professional development work for emerging Sistema-inspired programs in the U.S. and elsewhere.

She is the co-founder and editor of The Ensemble, a monthly newsletter for the North American Sistema-inspired movement.

Tunstall has taught general music in public schools, and music history and appreciation at Drew University and Bergen College. She is also the author of Note By Note: A Celebration of the Piano Lesson (Simon & Schuster, 2008), a memoir and meditation on the particular joys of teaching and learning piano. She maintains a private piano studio in the New York area.

Tunstall earned a B.A. in philosophy at Yale University and an M.A. in musicology at Columbia University, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Music Education at Boston University.