The Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project
Celebrating the Art Music of Latin America
A Not for Profit organization, 501 (c) (3)
20 Karens Lane, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632, USA
Fax: 201 816 0557


Mission Statement

The Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project aims to promote awareness of the music of serious classical Latin American composers, as well as to preserve their works and legacy. The organization seeks to aid in achieving a global recognition that Latin America has produced many classical composers of note and, very often, genius.

The knowledge of a Latin American rich musical heritage, in addition to providing the opportunity for exposure to such musical offerings, will further cultural understanding and help close a cultural gap which still separates North and South, as far as the Americas are concerned. It is a fact that most people would be able to recognize the names of European and perhaps a few North American composers, yet very few would be able to identify one single Latin American composer of serious, art music. The highly developed, sophisticated cultural bedrock and influences from Western civilization in the music of Latin America, which are paramount, allow for the appreciation of its artistic accomplishments beyond folklore or purely indigenous forms.

In the understanding that the creation of great art in general and music in particular attest to the cultural development of a nation or people, an awareness of such creative strength in Latin American cultures and societies contributes to the appreciation of these societies as being highly culturally advanced. The Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project seeks to reveal and support the significant musical artistic creativity to be found in these countries, so that it may be recognized, appreciated, and fully integrated into Western Culture’s mainstream manifestations. The Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project
seeks to make the music of major Latin American composers such as Alberto Ginastera (Argentina), Silvestre Revueltas (Mexico), Hector Villa-Lobos (Brazil) , to name a handful out of hundreds, known to our general public. The high quality, originality and genius of the various cultural heritages and folk treasures of each of these countries, elevated to the highest artistic creations, is comparable to many of the achievements by numerous European and North American composers, and deserves its rightful place in the collective awareness.

Just as Beethoven transformed German folk songs into hallowed symphonic achievements and Gershwin incorporated jazz in concert music, Latin American composers have weaved their malambos and mariachi sounds into their orchestral masterworks. Exclusively Latin, original sounds and instruments such as the Argentine bandoneon and a myriad Caribbean and Mexican percussion instruments are also represented in these ccompositions. These masterworks should be known and appreciated.

Whilst it is easily understood that the precarious financial state of the “Third World” countries of Latin America has been the primary cause of limited export of the vital, vibrant music of this entire continent, unlike what Europe and the US have been able to do, the presence of such manifestations in our country, with its very large Hispanic/Latin American population, is both highly desirable and justifiable.

It is not only the sounds, colors and rhythms of Latin America which need to be better represented on the symphonic concert stage, but the Spanish language, with its magnificent, hundreds of years of world renowned literature, including the superb literature of Latin America. Choral or vocal classical works in the Spanish language are rarely heard in concert halls or broadcasts. Therefore, the promotion of music created in the entire Latin American continent will also further the presence on the concert stage of the fastest growing foreign language in the USA.

Only the dissemination of these works can help create a cultural balance needed in a multi-faceted society, whose values and principles aim to encourage such diversity. Therefore, the discovery of this rich cultural heritage in its most developed forms is an important step towards a fair appreciation of a major cultural contribution to our social landscape.

Ways in which to promote the discovery of these musical works, so that they
may reach the widest audiences possible the Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project commits to promote and realize, include:

Public performances by Symphony orchestras throughout the USA, mostly during the concert season, festivals including lectures, panel discussions and exhibits, recordings, the commissioning of new works from Latin American composers, the availability of free materials to media and organizations , accessibility of Latin American/Hispanic or Spanish speaking mentors, tutors ,coaches, lecturers or performers, securing the presence of authentic performers of original Latin instruments and vocal styles, translation of Spanish texts ,broadcasts and other media presentations, such as press and television, direct contact with musical, cultural and scholarly sources in Latin America itself, and educators and musicians’ visits to schools to expose children and teachers to music by Latin American composers, suggesting possible means for inter-disciplinary education (science, geography, demographics, history ,ethnicity, language) through exposure to music from all the Americas.

The funds government allocates to the Arts are very limited, and the art forms are many. Education in the musical arts and through the musical arts in general, with its consequent influence in the formation of complete, developed, balanced and motivated human beings, is in a precarious, perilous state. Society has been dominated by pop culture, and the survival of the highest forms of creativity in music is now questioned. The Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project pledges its full advocacy and commitment to contributing to the vital nurturing of the music its mission is to promote.

As an American citizen who was born and raised in Uruguay, South-America, thus absorbing all cultural influences whilst trained in classical music, and as an educator of proven success, the President of The Ben-Dor Music Discovery Project, conductor Gisele Ben-Dor, dedicates her credentials and qualifications to lead the organization in the above mentioned direction, and to fully carry its stated mission.