Venezuelan Spirit throughout the UK

During its five-day Residency at Southbank Centre, the world renowned Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra will be heard by a much bigger audience than the 30,000 expected to fill the Royal Festival Hall and The Clore Ballroom.

Bolivar Youth Orchestra

Here at Classic FM, the Orchestra's two Shell Classic International concerts on 14 and 18 April - both conducted by its charismatic musical director, Gustavo Dudamel - will be played across the airwaves as part of a two series of special concert programmes presented by Katie Derham on Saturday 25 April and Saturday 2 May at 3pm.

Additionally the concert on 18 April will be streamed live to Sage Gateshead so that a specially-invited audience of young musicians and their families can also experience the spectacle of seeing the Orchestra perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and works by a selection of major Latin American composers.

However the focus is not solely on the concert performances. Two open rehearsals, which provide a unique insight into life within the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, will also be attended and relayed live to The Clore Ballroom , where up to 1000 people can enjoy the event free of charge.

The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra's Residency forms the heart of a Spring season of international music making by and for young people at Southbank Centre. Therefore in a concerted effort to engage young artists to classical music, Southbank Centre has invited more than 3000 young people from over 48 youth orchestras, music schools, and local primary and secondary schools to see the talented Venezuelans perform.

The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra is a polished product of El Sistema , the 34-year-old Venezuelan social programme, which helps to build the self-confidence, skills and discipline of more than 250,000 young people - many of whom are from underprivileged backgrounds - by giving them classical music training.

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