“The young men hunched over their violins, a piano and a traditional cuatro guitar in a quiet Peruvian suburb,” writes Jim Wyss in Monday’s (10/22) Miami Herald. “Brought up under Venezuela’s famed El Sistema classical musical education program, they dreamed of … being poached by international orchestras—like their colleague Gustavo Dudamel, [music] director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Instead, they’ve joined the millions of Venezuelans fleeing hunger and political chaos…. César Chang, a 27-year-old singer, said many of his band-mates dropped out because they needed the time to find food. There was no money to fix instruments, and professors would simply disappear…. On a recent weekday in Lima, where many Venezuelans have ended up, these musicians turned teachers were preparing to give classes at the National School of Peruvian Musicians…. Andres Saybay, the director of the music school, said the influx of Venezuelan musicians has shaken up Peru’s stodgy classical music scene…. ‘These Venezuelan musicians,’ he said … ‘are all giving 200 percent.’ … The young men said they’re grateful their musical education has given them the ability to make money and support their families in Venezuela.”

Posted October 24, 2018