14 year old Venezuelan takes flight as a novice orchestra conductor
From a very young age, José Ángel Salazar showed a passion for music, and seeks to follow the footsteps of superstars like Dudamel; he is a product of the orchestra "System"
At age two he held a toy cuatro, a Venezuelan sort of Ukulele. When he was 8, he shed tears of emotion upon hearing a metal ensemble concert. Today, he is barely 14 and is the youngest Venezuelan to conduct an orchestra in his country, and possibly, the world.
Salazar, an adolescent who delights in listening to the complex symphonies of Austrian composer Franz Schubert and the overtures of Antonio Vivaldi, is a product of "The System," a program that has plucked hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan youth out of poverty and crime through music.
"The fact that a 14 year old is conducting an orchestra and going to school is a miracle that can only occur in Venezuela," said Salazar, showing his sense of pride in a recent interview with Reuters in the city of La Asunción on his native island of Margarita.
Salazar, the second of three children of a couple of school teachers, is one of "The System's" greatest successes, along with the director of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel, and Edicson Ruiz, who at 17, became the youngest musician to join the Berlin Philharmonic.
The National System of Youth Orchestras, better known as "The System," is a musical education program created by acclaimed Venezuelan, José Antonio Abreu. With a network of 180 orchestras and around 350,000 youth, it has become a springboard for Venezuelan musicians to succeed around the world.
Translated by Alejandro Osio
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."