When the first generation of El Sistema of Venezuela met the new generation of El Sistema Greece
Youthful flame, brass sounds, explosive appearances and musical moments full of emotion, composed this October, which turned into an unforgettable experience after the visit of the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble in Greece. The moment we have been waiting for for years now became a reality as the first generation of El Sistema of Venezuela met the new generation of El Sistema Greece for a week full of educational and artistic activities in Athens and Corinth. From October 12 to 20, Venezuela’s most charismatic young brass performers traveled from Caracas at the invitation of El Sistema Greece, along with administration members of El Sistema and the maestro David Andres Ascanio Abreu, Manager of the Academic Orchestral Program and the Musical Academic Director of El Sistema in Venezuela, sharing with us unique musical moments and unforgettable experiences.
This week Kipseli, the headquarters of El Sistema Greece, experienced some great moments and was filled with the sounds of brass and percussion when the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble visited our classes, held workshops for our students and prepared a live show exclusively for our little musicians. And that’s how a dream came true as the people we admire so much and who for years have been supporting us from afar by providing us with advice, repertoire and supporting material for the success of our program, came to us, flesh and blood, giving to young and old, huge inspiration both through their talent and through the personal path that led them to success.
A highlight for El Sistema Greece and its students was the visit of the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble to the weekly rehearsal of the El Sistema Greece Youth Orchestra, which is regularly hosted by Malliaras School in Alimos, which was attended for the first time by smaller ” Kypseli Orchestra” to meet our famous visitors. The ESG student orchestras held an open rehearsal which was attended by VBE musicians and then had the opportunity to play Te Deum with them under the direction of the maestro Andres David Ascanio Abreu, in an emotional and exciting atmosphere for this long-awaited partnership that also reflects the essence of El Sistema. This special rehearsal ended with a small performance of the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble which we will never forget.
However, apart from the nucleus of El Sistema Greece VBE generously shared some fun and advice with the students of top conservatories in Attica. We warmly thank the Filippos Nakas Conservatory and the Music Horizons Conservatory for their cooperation, as through the educational seminars, workshops and live music performances they hosted, they effectively contributed to reaching the message of El Sistema to even more musicians.
After Athens, it was Corinth, where El Sistema Greece has been active since October 2020, through its collaboration with the Kalogeropouleio Conservatory. The representatives of the Conservatory, after an exclusive tour of the ensemble at the archaeological site of Corinth, welcomed the 30 musicians to their place with a warm musical performance by the teachers and students of Kalogeropouleio. Then, musicians of the ensemble gave a trumpet masterclass to a talented musician from the Open Refugee Accommodation Center of the area and to a young trumpet player of the Corinth Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by a concert in the event hall of the Conservatory, which due to the large attendance, as it started as a quartet and quintet performance, it ended as a spontaneous concert of the ensemble in full formation in the yard of the Conservatory, which stirred up the audience, consisted of students, parents, locals and guests of the refugee accommodation center, proving the power of music as an ideal medium for the harmonious coexistence of all people, without discrimination and restrictions. The night peaked when the hosts gave an engraving of Ancient Corinth to each one, as a souvenir of their visit to the city, and the warm hospitality was completed with a meal of Greek delicacies in the garden of the Foundation.
Along with all the educational activities, the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble offered a great sample of their talent through a series of artistic performances, at the Serafio City of Athens, which firmly supports El Sistema Greece hosting its various activities, and which VBE filled with music for three days. Their top artistic performance was their big concert at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) and the Stavros Niarchos Hall of course, and we were all there as expected, when the VBE with their youthful flame and valuable experience of their 17-year presence, captivated the audience on a night that no one wanted to end.
Venezuelan Brass Ensemble’s visit to Greece was not only an unforgettable experience but also a milestone for El Sistema Greece. These renowned musicians, having emerged through the social program of El Sistema of Venezuela, are a great role model for our musicians, but also a living example for all people, of how music and the arts in general can transform people’s lives and work as an ideal tool for integration and social development.