Dudamel rejects calls to make political statement about Venezuelan protests

Posted on: February 19, 2014

“Wherever he goes, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel is hailed as a symbol of El Sistema, Venezuela’s model music education program. But Tuesday Dudamel arrived in L.A. as the subject of criticism for not speaking out against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s policies,” writes Mark Swed in Wednesday’s (2/19) Los Angeles Times. “Dudamel gave his first interview [Tuesday] about his situation at home. Anti-government demonstrations on Feb. 12 erupted into violence and three people were killed in Caracas while Dudamel was reported to have been celebrating National Youth Day at a presidential parade with Maduro in Maracay, about 80 miles from the Venezuelan capital. ‘That’s crazy,’ Dudamel said, disputing news reports that he was with the president or in Maracay. That day also marked the 39th anniversary of the founding of El Sistema, and Dudamel led a concert in Caracas with a youth orchestra from his hometown of Barquisimeto…. [Dudamel] rejects calls to make a political statement, saying it would not be in the spirit of El Sistema…. It is not a political institution, Dudamel said. It belongs to no one party or group but the entire citizenry, and he said he will do everything in his power to keep it out of politics.”

Posted February 19, 2014

Photo of Gustavo Dudamel by Chris Christodoulou