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Back to listOct 11, 2013

Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra Performs at SGI-Venezuela Celebration

SConductor Christian VásquezConductor Christian Vásquez

On October 11, the world renowned Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra was invited to perform at a concert celebrating the 40th anniversary of SGI-Venezuela (SGIV)'s founding at the Center for Social Action Through Music in Caracas. The concert was open to the public.

Over 700 people attended, including Venezuela's Comptroller General Adelina González and General Manager of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra Víctor Rojas. The orchestra played pieces with contrasting cultural origins, including Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 and La Noche de los Mayas by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, in the spirit of harmonious coexistence and respect for diversity. The conductor was upcoming maestro Christian Vásquez, chief conductor of Norway's Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. 

concertThe concert in progress

The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and Christian Vásquez are both products of El Sistema, a Venezuelan music education program founded by José Antonio Abreu in 1975, with the aim of fostering impoverished young people through classical music education, using music as an agent of social change. The successful state-run program of community-based orchestras and instrumental training programs has now reached some 310,000 children in Venezuela, with similar programs developing across the world.

El Sistema and SGIV have over the years built friendly relations based on shared values, with both placing importance on fostering young people who can contribute to building a culture of peace and viewing culture as a vital force for cultivating human character. In 2005, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra performed at an SGIV youth festival in Caracas together with flutist Nestor Torres.

[Adapted from an article on the SGIV website and an article from the October 31, 2013, issue of Seikyo Shimbun; Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGIV]