In Venezuela, an attempt to break Guinness “world’s largest orchestra” record

Posted on: November 17, 2021

“Hundreds of violins, violas and double basses sounded at Venezuela’s military academy Saturday, then woodwinds, brass and percussion gradually joined in—and thousands of musicians, mostly children and adolescents, were playing with a single goal: setting the record as the world’s largest orchestra,” writes Regina Garcia Cano in Saturday’s (11/13) Associated Press. “The musicians, all connected to the country’s [El Sistema] network of youth orchestras, performed a roughly 10-minute Tchaikovsky piece outdoors under the watchful eyes of independent supervisors with the job of verifying that more than 8,097 instruments were playing simultaneously, which would break the current record…. The Guinness World Records will determine within 10 days whether a record was set…. The musicians … attempted the record during a patriotic, one-hour concert. The repertoire included ‘Venezuela’ by Pablo Herrero and Jose Luis Armenteros, the South American country’s national anthem and Pedro Gutierrez’s ‘Alma Llanera,’ which Venezuelans consider their unofficial anthem…. The rules … included not sharing instruments and being directed by a professional. That honor belonged to Andrés David Ascanio Abreu…. After finishing the ‘Slavonic March,’ the musicians erupted in cheers while lifting their instruments and waving Venezuelan flags. ‘The largest orchestra in the world,’ they exclaimed.”