The Simón Bolívar Orchestra is crumbling. The situation in Venezuela has forced way of exile to almost 40 of its 120 members. A third part. And y won't be only ones, y assure some of m. The crisis has worsened following protests in street this spring against regime of Nicholas Maduro. The majority decision has to do with situation across country. Many have accepted offers from or formations abroad or try to open mselves in different countries. From national system of orchestras, of which Simón Bolívar depends, y assure that or musicians occupy already ir positions.
In fact, says Esteban Araujo, one of creators of system more than 40 years ago side by side with José Antonio Abreu, its founder, exit of musicians, unwanted, clarifies, "has solved, on or hand, a certain situation of funnel." In an organization hosting 900,000 students across country, movements like this are easy to replace. Many want to enter real jewel of system and now have found room.
Within organization, however, y recognize severity of problem. Some of those who have left establish a direct parallel with situation that goes through country. Scarcity is one. The musicians ' current salaries, to change, do not reach 10 dollars. That forces m to look for exits. The prestige of orchestra and musicians of world-wide system make it simpler. Today it is common to find in many international formations outstanding several Venezuelan musicians.
The economy and livelihood are reasons of weight. Politics, anor. The fact that cultural figure, toger with Abreu, which is most relevant in country, cannot return gives a clue. Gustavo Dudamel has not stepped on Venezuela since protests and focuses his life and work in Los Angeles, where he leads City Philharmonic.
Scarcity is a cause of departure of members. The current salaries of musicians, to change, not Lleguan to 10 dollars "
The musician acts in January in Spain with Vienna Philharmonic and has not wanted to offer statements on this occasion. But he did let his voice feel when situation became very critical in streets. Last April, days after Armando Cañizales, a system viola, was shot dead in head with only 18 years, director broke his silence and wrote an article published in country and New York Times. Dudamel was blunt: he attacked repression of Maduro while calling for dialogue.
The dictator replied in one of his televised harangues with a rar menacing tone. Dudamel hasn't come back for fear of reprisals. His buddies in orchestra are afraid until his passport is removed and imprisoned. They're all in constant contact. They deal with professional issues on a daily basis and not because y left country say y had abandoned orchestra. "We played toger since we were 10 years old, Simón Bolívar is our life. We do not intend to leave, "says one of musicians who does not want to give his name.
Anor example of delicate situation that system is going through and orchestras that depend on it has been suspension of planned tours. The last one made by Simón Bolívar with all its original members was dedicated to integral of Beethoven's symphonies. It was an event that brought m to Spain. In Barcelona y played whole nine works cycle. But already, next planned departure-an Asia tour-was cancelled. In 2018, orchestra performances programmed in Spain have also been suspended. Within cycle of large Scherzo interpreters, Simón Bolívar had planned a performance with Dudamel in Madrid in September. The presence of director is maintained, but with Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Those responsible for system ensure that y cannot confirm dates in advance. The causes of this drastic cut in tours are, according to m, economic. The decline in oil revenues has diminished generous subsidies provided by Government. But no one doubts that y also respond to direct political reprisals.
In years of Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan president was able to use good image of system as a whole Venezuelan showcase at international level. They were awarded prizes all over world. They directed ir musicians from children's sections and young figures such as Claudio Abbado or Simon Rattle. The evident miracles of his pedagogical method were recognized by prestigious universities and educational centres that adopted ir bases in Europe, Asia and America. José Antonio Abreu collected in 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for his mission and became a candidate for Nobel Peace Prize.
The system and its artistic expression at highest level, Simón Bolívar Orchestra, became a prestigious and very valid magnet to promote Venezuela's Corte Bolivarian. Mature has not been able to see, understand, much less listen to ir benefits. And now, ir leaders, y try to get system, like country, not to come down.