El Sistema has brought a lot of joy and numerous opportunities to thousands of children and young musicians throughout the world. But if the organisation had to choose one of its alumni as its poster boy, they'd have to resort to the good old «Heads or Tails» trick. How could they choose between Gustavo Dudamel and Edicson Ruiz? Maybe you can decide? You've had the chance to see Dudamel conduct at the Philharmonie earlier the year and in a few days you'll get to hear Edicson Ruiz perform with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
Ruiz's story is some sort of miracle story, a tale that starts in his birth city of Caracas in 1985 and culminates when he becomes a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2003. It's a story with two key figures: his mother («She signed me up for the children’s orchestra. I wasn’t that keen at the beginning (...) but [she] insisted.») and of course, José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema.
Ruiz is only 11 years old when he joins El Sistema − his mother's attempt at keeping him busy and off the dangerous streets of Caracas. Playing the viola proves to be a disaster so he moves on to the double bass whose warm sound moves him. He's found his path and all along this path he can count on the support of Maestro Abreu who takes him on an internship in the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and helps him take part in big international music competitions. After high school Ruiz applies to the Berliner Philharmoniker's Orchestra Academy where he learns how versatile the double bass can be.
After a year of training with Klaus Stoll and Janne Saksala, Ruiz becomes a full member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. «That I am able to be a member of this orchestra is something which makes me very grateful to life, to God or to fate,» he explains. «It’s a continuous stream of positive energy that carries me along through life, inspires me and shows me doors waiting to be opened.»
At 31 Edicson Ruiz is recognized as one of most successful bass soloists of the present time and is a regular guest at festivals such as the Lucerne Festival. He has performed all over the world and we are delighted to have him in Luxembourg on June 10. Don't miss his performance with the OPL!
As part of the next «Aventure+» concert on June 10 the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg will perform pieces of Italian music under the baton of Gustavo Gimeno. For Nino Rota's Divertimento concertante they will be joined on stage by Edicson Ruiz.
This post is mainly based on an interview Edicson Ruiz gave to Unlimited, Rehau's corporate magazine. Read the full interview here.
Read our previous post about El Sistema! It's right here!