AUGUST 2016: Ricardo Castro Becomes First Brazilian Awarded Honourary Membership of RPSAUGUST 2016: Ricardo Castro Becomes First Brazilian Awarded Honourary Membership of RPS
Ricardo Castro, an International pianist (and former winner of the Leeds Piano Competition), has become the first Brazilian to receive the Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society, figuring since beside famous personalities in the history of Western music.
Recipients have included composers, conductors, performers, music commentators, patrons, programmers, publishers and educationalists. Since 1826, when the first recipient was Carl Maria von Weber, Honorary Membership has been awarded fewer than 130 times. Among the many celebrated names on the list are Mendelssohn (1829) Rossini (1839), Berlioz (1859), Wagner (1860), Brahms (1882), Clara Schumann (1887), Stravinsky (1921), Aaron Copland (1970), Paul Sacher (1991) and Evelyn Barbirolli (2001).
Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society is awarded in recognition of services to music, in this case recognising the work of Ricardo Castro in setting up a flourishing youth music programme working with some of the porrest children in his native Bahià, Brazil. Ricardo Castro is the Founder and General Director of NEOJIBA – Núcleos Estaduais de Orquestras Juvenis e Infantis da Bahia. He is also the Artistic Director of the Bahia Youth Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the Lausanne Haute École de Musique in Switzerland.
Born in Brazil, Ricardo Castro has an international career as a pianist and won the 1993 Leeds International Piano Competition (the unique Latin- American winner in the competition’s history). However, since the founding of NEOJIBA, he has put all his efforts into developing an initiative in Bahia which is solid enough to survive government changes, in the hope that others will follow the example in the rest of Brazil.
Since 2007 NEOJIBA has offered the possibility of change in the lives of children and young people through the collective practice of music and by acquiring the essential tools that allow them to reach the full extent of their capabilities. NEOJIBA’s success is demonstrated by the high level of excellence achieved by the musicians of his orchestras.
NEOJIBA is based on Venezuela’s "El Sistema" programme. It has a Centre for Management and Training – NGF – in Salvador, Bahia and five other Centres in the state of Bahia, touching directly more than 900 young people. The programme provides free musical instruments, rehearsal and teaching of music theory by qualified professionals, transportation assistance and a snack. The members of the NGF also receive a scholarship. NEOJIBA is now a priority program of the Government of Bahia and a pioneer in Brazil, run by the Association of Friends of Youth and Children Orchestras and NEOJIBA - AOJIN, with maintenance of the Secretariat of Culture of the State and support of the Teatro Castro Alves.
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