Asia tour by Dudamel and Simón Bolívar Symphony cancelled by Venezuelan government

Posted on: October 13, 2017

“Gustavo Dudamel may well be Venezuela’s most acclaimed cultural export, and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela has come to symbolize that nation’s commitment to social programs and music education for all,” writes Michael Cooper in Thursday’s (10/12) New York Times. “But that did not stop the government of President Nicolás Maduro from canceling the orchestra’s tour of Asia. It was the second Dudamel-led tour to be halted since the conductor criticized the government this summer amid a growing political crisis. The cancellation was announced on Thursday, a week before the tour was set to begin.… Last month the Venezuelan government canceled Mr. Dudamel’s tour of the United States with the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. Mr. Dudamel, who is the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic … has long tried to stay above the fray of politics.… But as … widespread protests were greeted with harsh government crackdowns, Mr. Dudamel began speaking up…. Mr. Dudamel, in his statement Thursday, called on the players in the orchestra and the young people of Venezuela to ‘remain strong and proud … our spirit will not be broken, our hope will not waver, our music will not be silenced.’ ”

Posted October 13, 2017

Pictured: Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at Carnegie Hall. Photo by Ramin Talaie