In Venezuela, musicians perform classical music from an 18-wheeler truck during the pandemic

Posted on: March 8, 2021

Wearing masks, musicians perform with conductor José Agustín Sánchez on an eighteen-wheeler truck in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, March 2021. Photo: Ariana Cubillos

“Orchestra music envelops the streets of a Venezuelan city every time a truck carrying musicians has made its way through traffic for the past year,” write Jorge Rueda and Regina Garcia Cano in Friday’s (3/5) Associated Press. “The live performance is an effort to give people some small respite from the coronavirus pandemic and other hardships. One hot afternoon this week, the musicians climbed on the truck’s platform, and wearing facemasks, began to play as they traveled around Barquisimeto, a city west of the capital, Caracas…. José Agustín Sánchez, a Venezuelan pianist, composer and conductor … came up with the initiative.… The tour began outside a school of medicine next to a hospital. Sanchez conducted the mobile orchestra from his piano as the musicians sweated under the midday sun. The orchestra performed for hours many of his melodies, which he wrote while serving as resident composer of the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra…. Barquisimeto is also known as the ‘musical city’ of Venezuela for being the hometown of several of the country’s … musicians … including Gustavo Dudamel, the music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic…. ‘It’s beautiful,’ said Zulay Chirinos Mariño, a 60-year-old resident of Barquisimeto. ‘I have goosebumps.’ “