The Venezuelan dictator cancelled the National Youth Orchestra tour after conductor Dudamel spoke against the murder of one of its members, and against the new Constituent Assembly:
US tour of Gustavo de Dudamel’s Venezuelan youth orchestra canceled. President Nicolás Maduro punishes famed music director for “sticking his nose into politics”
Here come the consequences. Youth orchestra conductor Gustavo de Dudamel’s questioning of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has cost him a tour. When Dudamel spoke out against the murder of 17-year-old Armando Cañizales, a violinist in the orchestra, he knew his words would burn deep. Cañizales was shot dead during a revolt against the president. But the matter did not end there.
Dudamel went even further, by publishing an article in EL PAÍS further critiquing the country’s controversial new Constituent Assembly, a body Maduro says will help bring peace to the crisis-hit country but which many believe is a veiled attempt by the leader to cling to power at all costs.
Contrary to the propaganda meme of the youth orchestra system being created by dictator Hugo Chávez, El País points out that
Venezuelan musician, educator and polymath José Antonio Abreu, now ill and retired from public life, created the system more than 40 years ago.
Dudamel said the cancellation, which came just days after President Nicolás Maduro publicly criticised him, was “heartbreaking”.
Dudamel’s schedule as director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is unaffected.