Al Jazeera Close Up

Music from the Favela | Close Up

‘Something so magical can’t be only for part of society,’ says musician bringing classical music to the favela.

Born and bred on the hills of Rio de Janiero’s Mangueira favela, where opportunities for young people are scarce, Nathan Amaral received a visit from a stranger one day that changed his life.

The person at the door simply asked him: “Would you like to play the violin?”

And that is when his life changed.

He had been invited to join the Ilumina Festival, which brings world-famous soloists together with aspiring young Brazilian musicians to explore their talents.

After his participation in the one-week immersive workshop, he won a place at the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he is currently in his fourth year and has been recently honoured as one of the top violin students.

The Ilumina Festival will be organising its sixth instalment in 2020, working to further change the face of classical music for South Americans.

A film by: Theopi Skarlatos 

Editor: Ala Alhussan

Translator: Maria Lauret 

EP: Andrew Phillips