“Venezuela is a country in crisis, with drastic food shortages, public protests and government crackdowns,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Wednesday’s (9/28) New York Times. “Given this backdrop, that the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela is making it to New York to open the Carnegie Hall season shows fortitude. The orchestra was founded in 1975 as the premiere ensemble of El Sistema, a nationwide orchestra training program that reaches music students in underprivileged areas. In recent years, the ensemble has taken on a more permanent identity as a top touring orchestra. For this occasion, Gustavo Dudamel, its music director, offers three challenging programs. On Thursday, Oct. 6, the orchestra will showcase rhythm and dance, with Ravel’s ‘La Valse,’ Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ and selected dances from around the world. On Friday, Mr. Dudamel conducts music infused with folk motifs from different countries, including Stravinsky’s ‘Petrouchka.’ And to conclude the orchestra’s stay on Saturday, the superb French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will join the ensemble for Messiaen’s ecstatic, mystical, 80-minute ‘Turangalîla-symphonie.’ ”

Posted September 29, 2016