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Home*Latest news*Venezuela in Scotland launches today
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Venezuela in Scotland launches today


Young people from the Raploch area of Stirling will be the first beneficiaries of an innovative programme developed in Venezuela.

The project was unveiled in Edinburgh today, with special guest Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of the Fundación del Estado para el Sistema de Orquesta Juvenil e Infantil de Venezuela (FESNOJIV).

The ‘El Sistema’ programme which was founded by Maestro Abreu in Caracas, Venezuela 30 years ago, works with children and young people using orchestral music tuition.  The children learn discipline, respect and co-operation alongside learning the classical repertoire.

Although the programme focuses on instrumental tuition, its aim is not solely on developing musical excellence, but on building the confidence and achievements of the young people.  However, El Sistema’s musicians are renowned for their skills, with 26-year old conductor Gustavo Dudamel, a graduate of El Sistema, recently being appointed to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In Scotland, the first pilot will begin in the Raploch area of Stirling early next year, with the first group of children aged between five and eight years of age.  Over the coming 10 years, the Scottish programme will work with young people of a range of ages and in different areas of Scotland.

Richard Holloway, Chairman of the new Project Board said: ‘I’m delighted that we are able to welcome such a distinguished guest to our launch today.  Maestro Abreu is the inspiration for our work in Scotland, he has created a magnificent system there which we aim to emulate here.  Those of you lucky enough to have one of the hottest tickets in town will see for yourselves the astonishing ability of these young people.

‘I look forward to one day welcoming Maestro Abreu to a performance of a Scottish orchestra!’


Notes to editors

  1. Richard Holloway will welcome Maestro Abreu and Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival at the Sheraton Hotel, Melville Suite at 3.30pm today. Speakers will be Richard Holloway, Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival and Maestro Abreu.

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Issued by: Scottish Arts Council

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