When Gustavo Dudamel ascended the podium at the Hollywood Bowl for his inaugural concert as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he captivated the hearts of his audience, just as he had the minds of music critics. In Changing Lives, the maestro's story becomes the entry point to El Sistema, the programme that nurtured his talent under the mentorship of its founder, Jose Antonio Abreu. What began in Venezuela has reached children in cities around the world. The goal of El Sistema is unwavering: to rescue children from the depredations of poverty, through music. Part history, part reportage, this book shows how arts education can effect positive social change.