Harvard University conferred on maestro José Antonio Abreu the honorary degree of Doctor of Music for creating an education program that provides disadvantaged children with the chance to make music and, through music, a chance for a better life. May 2013.
The Cleveland Institute of Music awarded maestro José Antonio Abreu with an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree in recognition of his tireless work on behalf of the young people of the world and his endless pursue of musical excellence and mastery. May 2013.
The International Academy of Hagiography awarded maestro José Antonio Abreu with the first Cáritas in Veritate Prize for setting an example to children and young people throughout Venezuela. March 2013.
The Culture Foundation of the Municipality of Cadiz presented maestro José Antonio Abreu with the Fifth Cortes de Cádiz Ibero-American Prize of Music for his fruitful and significant work as a leader, creator and founder of a program that has inspired over 25 countries to develop similar initiatives, and whose purpose goes beyond the borders of music. February 2013.
José Antonio Abreu was made Knight of the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez and Mella by the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, in a ceremony held at the National Palace in Santo Domingo on February 7, 2013.
On December 6, 2012, at the Carnegie Hall in New York, maestro José Antonio Abreu was honored by Musical America as 2013 Educator of the Year for creating “the extraordinary music-education program called El Sistema.”
During a ceremony held at the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium, the Mayor of the city of Ravello, Paolo Willeumier, presented maestro José Antonio Abreu
with the , which is conferred upon those personalities who have contributed to social progress through the arts. September, 2012.
The Institute of Education, University of London, conferred upon maestro José Abreu an honorary degree for his work with the pioneering El Sistema project. June 2012.
Carleton University conferred upon maestro José Antonio Abreu an honorary doctorate for his “outstanding contribution to the advancement of underprivileged youth through music and education.” March, 2012.
The Major of the city of Valencia, State of Carabobo, presented maestro José Antonio Abreu with the Valencia City Award for his outstanding work with the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela. March, 2012.
The Cultural Institute of the German Music Industry Association presented maestro Abreu with the in a ceremony held in Berlin on October 2, 2011.
The Austrian government has presented maestro José Antonio Abreu
with the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, for his legacy to the world as the founder of El Sistema, a music education program that uses music as a means of social integration. This is the highest award given by Austria in the field of arts and culture. July 2011.
In a ceremony held in Caracas at the Center for Social Action through Music, the Finnish ambassador to Venezuela, Mr. Mikko Pyhälä, presented José Antonio Abreu with the of Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland for using music as a means of social inclusion. July 2011.
Presented by the to the National System of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela for its successful social and human project. May 2011.
The White Hands Chorus received in Friuli, Italy, the 2010 Nonino Risit d'Aur Award
for providing children with special needs with joy and dignity and touching the hearts of those who attend their performances. January 2010.
The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation awarded the 2010 Erasmus Prize
to Jose Antonio Abreu in recognition of his efforts to involve a large group of young people in music making, providing them with inspiration and a new social context. The prize is awarded annually to a person or institution which has made an exceptionally important contribution to culture in Europe. October 2010.
José Antonio Abreu was honored with the Latin Recording Academy's Trustees Award. This special award is presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy's Trustees to individuals who have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording during their careers. November 2009.
José Antonio Abreu was appointed as a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of The Order of the Legion of Honor). The Légion d'Honneur, the highest decoration in France, was established by Napoleon I on May 19, 1802 and is awarded only for gallantry in action or for twenty years of distinguished service in peacetime. October 2009.
Maestro José Antonio Abreu received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Universidad de Los Andes for designing an education program that transform lives through music. May 2009.
José Antonio Abreu was named winner of the Polar Music Prize
for founding El Sistema, a social program that has provided thousands of Venezuelan youngsters with the tools to leave poverty. The Polar Music Prize is one of the most prestigious music prizes in the world and is awarded to individuals, groups and institutions in recognition of exceptional achievements. It is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician and was founded by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, in 1989. May 2009.
The Institute for Learning, Access and Training at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra bestowed its first Frederick Stock Award upon Dr. José Antonio Abreu in recognition of his exceptional achievement and sustained commitment to transforming the lives of young people through music. April 2009.
Maestro José Antonio Abreu received the Bridge Builders Award
for his role in transcending social and political hardships through performing arts education for underprivileged and at-risk youths throughout the country of Venezuela. April 2009.
The Frankfurt Music Prize
is awarded annually by the Frankfurt Music Prize Foundation to musicians, composers, teachers and personalities from the world of music for special achievements in the fields of interpretation, composition, musicology or teaching. The 2009 Frankfurt Music Prize went to the Venezuelan composer, musician and economist Dr. José Antonio Abreu for his work with young people in Venezuela. March 2009.
Dr. José Antonio Abreu was given theTED Prize
for the outstanding work carried out through El Sistema for over 34 years. The Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Prize is awarded annually and grants three extraordinary individuals a wish to change the world, and support in making the wish come true. February 2009.
Maestro José Antonio Abreu was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Simón Bolívar for being a visionary and promoting a cultural renaissance in Venezuela. February 2009.
The International Society for the Performing Arts
gave maestro José Antonio Abreu the International Citation of Merit for his contribution to the wellbeing of thousands of youngsters in Venezuela and the rest of the world. The award was presented at the ISPA's 61st Annual Congress entitled “Art as an Agent of Change”, held in New York City at the Rainbow Room of the Rockefeller Center Art. January 2009.
Maestro José Antonio Abreu received the Distinguished Service Award from the Conductors Guild
in recognition of the outstanding work carried out through El Sistema, whose amazing results have fostered the establishment of similar programs in other countries. January 2009.
Created by Quincy Jones, the Q prize is a prestigious international award presented by the Harvard School of Public Health to showcase extraordinary leadership and advocacy on behalf of children. 2008 Q Prize was conferred upon the leaders of El Sistema, Dr. José Antonio Abreu and Gustavo Dudamel, for their dedicated work on behalf of the children of Venezuela through El Sistema. November 2008.
Ethecon, the Foundation for Ethics and Economics has awarded the Blue Planet Award
to maestro José Antonio Abreu for implementing in Venezuela a successful education program against poverty. September 2008.
The Beethoven-Haus Society conferred this honor upon maestro José Antonio Abreu at the 2008 Beethoven Festival. This German society, founded in 1889, recognizes outstanding musicians by awarding them honorary membership
. September 2008.
Her Majesty Queen Sofia presented the Yehudi Menuhin Award to maestro José Antonio Abreu. This award, initiated in 1999 by the Albéniz Foundation, recognizes the work of outstanding musicians who have achieved artistic excellence and have contributed significantly to the education of young players. June 2008.
The Prince of Asturias Foundation bestowed the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts 2008
upon the Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela “…for having combined, within a single project, the highest artistic quality and a profound ethical conviction applied for the improvement of our social reality. The system developed by maestro Abreu has worked in collaboration with prominent figures of worldwide acclaim to train conductors and performers of the highest level, in accordance with a strong conviction that music has an essential educational value for the dignity of mankind.” June 2008.
The New York City Council issued a proclamation honoring maestro
Abreu for his extraordinary contributions to the cultural life of the United States and for spreading harmony throughout the world. June 2008.
The Royal Philharmonic Society awarded Honorary Membership
to Maestro Abreu for embodying its core purpose of ‘creating a future for music.’ May 2008.
For the social work carried out in Venezuela through the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras, maestro Abreu received Honorary Membership of the Claustro de las Artes of the Universidad de Alcalá (Spain). April 2008.
Universidad de Carabobo. Valencia, Venezuela. April 2008.
These honors were conferred by the Universidad de Carabobo (Venezuela) upon maestro José Antonio Abreu, at the 16th National Congress on Medical Sciences, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the health of the Venezuelan youngsters. April 2008.
The Order of the Rising Sun is the second most prestigious Japanese honor and it was founded in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito conferred this honor on Dr. Abreu for “promoting musical exchange and friendship between Japan and Venezuela.” February 2008.
The Glenn Gould Foundation decided to award Dr. José Antonio Abreu with the eighth Glenn Gould Prize
for bringing about a cultural renaissance in Venezuela and for having a significant impact on a whole generation of youngsters through music. February 2008.
José Antonio Abreu won the Puccini International Award
(38th edition) presented by the Fondazione Festival Pucciniano, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and the Comitato Nazionale per le Celebrazioni Pucciniane. This award acknowledges maestro Abreu's efforts to promote music as a vehicle for social development. February 2008.
This order was given to Dr. José Antonio Abreu in recognition of his long-term work for the Venezuelan music and culture. The Order of Valle del Momboy University was instituted by the Valle del Momboy’s University Council to acknowledge professional achievements and merits of renowned personalities. December 2007.
In recognition of the talent of its members and the outstanding social work it carries out through music, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, conferred the Order of Francisco de Miranda on the Simon Bolivar National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. This honor was also conferred on its founder Dr. José Antonio Abreu and its conductor Gustavo Dudamel. November 2007.
The WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award is an honor bestowed upon a person or organization that has made a special contribution to classical music. Alexander Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s son, presented the 2007 award to “the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel for their hope-filled example of the transformative power of music; and to their extraordinary mentor, Jose Antonio Abreu, who has shown that music is a force for social change.” The award is part of a partnership between WQXR-FM and the British magazine Gramophone. November 2007. Photos
This medal was awarded to maestro José Antonio Abreu for “his unique music education program which inspires children to achieve amazing goals.” This award is given at the annual conference of the Pio Manzù International Research Centre - a non-governmental organization of the United Nations – in Riminy, Italy. October 2007.
José Antonio Abreu has been decorated by the President of Italy with the honor of Grand Officer of the Star of Italian Solidarity
. This honor is bestowed by decree of the President of the Republic of Italy upon individuals who have contributed to the post-war rebuilding of Italy and its culture. June 2007.
Don Juan de Borbón Award for Music
in its second edition was given to José Antonio Abreu “for his outstanding music values as an orchestral conductor, as well as for his intense and long-term dedication to the education of youngsters, particularly reflected in the State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela, and in the promotion of music as a means for social transformation.” May 2007.
The GlobArt organization gave this prize to maestro Abreu for his exemplary service to humanity. The GlobArt Award
honors persons whose lives and work reflect GlobArt aims and ideals; men and women who can be looked upon as examples of GlobArt philosophy. November 2006.
The Italian Committee for UNICEF presented the UNICEF Prize
to maestro José Antonio Abreu, for dedicating his life to the tutelage and the rescue of at-risk children through music, and for founding the Simon Bolivar National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. September 2006.
It was awarded to the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela on September 7, 2006 by the Japan Arts Association. The Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists
is a program aimed at supporting and encouraging the activities of young artists. It is given to a group or institution that promotes the involvement of young people in the arts.
Award granted to Maestro Abreu by the Asociación de Profesores of the Universidad Simón Bolívar. Caracas, Venezuela. December 2005.
The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, instituted in 1951, is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation. Dr. Abreu was awarded the Cross of Merit, 1st Class of the Order of Merit in recognition of his outstanding contribution in furthering cultural relations between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Federal Republic of Germany. May 2005.
Sony Broadcast and Professional Latin America conferred this recognition on the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela for the production of cultural programs in the Republic of Venezuela using high-definition video (HDV) format. 2005.
UNICEF appointed the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela as a National Goodwill Ambassador
for showing, throughout the years, a genuine commitment to helping at-risk children. November 2004.
Dr. Abreu received the World Culture Open Peace Prize for Arts and Culture
, in the Creative Arts category, for his work with the National Symphony Youth Orchestra, through which thousands of underprivileged Venezuelan children have had access to music and education and have improved their lives. September 2004.
Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. Caracas, Venezuela. March 2004.
The World Future Society (Venezuela) granted the order of merit to maestro Abreu for his priceless and outstanding contribution to the education of Venezuelan youngsters through his project of youth and children’s orchestras, which has had a significant impact on the Venezuelan society. 2003.
New England Conservatory of Music. Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. July 2002.
José Antonio Abreu was granted with the Musica e Vita Award by the Italian organization Coordinamento Música, due his active role in the promotion of music as an instrument of education and social organization. April 2002.
The Schwab Foundation from Switzerland gave this award to maestro Abreu in recognition of his work for Latin-American youngsters. 2002.
Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. 2002.
The Right Livelihood Award
honors and supports those "offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today". It was bestowed upon Dr. José Antonio Abreu "…for achieving a unique cultural renaissance, bringing the joys of music to countless disadvantaged children and communities." December 2001.
This medal was given to The National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela. It is awarded to internationally-renowned individuals or institutions embodying the UN’s highest humanistic ideal and the UNESCO’s fundamental values. January 2001.
UNESCO appointed the members of the National Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela as Artists for Peace. The UNESCO Artists for Peace
are internationally-renowned personalities who come from the world of arts, music, poetry and literature and promote UNESCO’s message and programs. May 1998.
This prize is awarded annually by the Italia Nel Mondo Foundation
, since 1994, to individuals of Italian origin who are exceptional members of their communities. 1998.
UNESCO appointed Maestro Abreu as a Goodwill Ambassador
in recognition of his untiring efforts to promote music as a tool for human development. 1998.
The Organization of American States gave this Prize, in the field of the music arts and sciences, to El Sistema for its far-reaching social mission and for guaranteeing the future of classical music in the Americas. The prize was created in 1979 and it is given to an individual or institution from an OAS member State whose works have contributed to the shaping and enrichment of the culture of the Americas. March 1996.
This prestigious prize, initiated in 1975, is awarded annually to musicians or musical institutions whose activity has contributed to the enrichment and development of music. The National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela was awarded with this prize in recognition of its achievements and for serving as a model for other countries. 1993.