“The beautiful Caracas Youth Symphony is a promise of future in Venezuelan music”
Maestro José Antonio Abreu
The Youth Orchestra of Caracas (YOC) has now become one of the most representative orchestras of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, founded by Maestro José Antonio Abreu 40 years ago. The orchestra has 175 talented musicians all of whom are inheritors of an extraordinary generation that has left its mark: the former Simon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, now Simon Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.
The YOC represents one of the most important achievements of El Sistema, together with the "Simon Bolívar" Conservatory of Music, and is sponsored by the Mayor of Caracas. Alongside symphonic and chamber repertoire at the highest level, they also perform Latin American Music programmes, with a special emphasis on the orchestral repertoire of Venezuelan composers.
The orchestra's conductor is the young musician Dietrich Paredes, one of the leading and most promising conductors of El Sistema. A student of Maestro José Antonio Abreu and a former member of the first violins of the Simon Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. He has performed as guest conductor with Monagas State Symphony Orchestra, Simon Bolívar Symphony of Táchira State, Mérida State Symphony, Falcon State Youth Symphony and Bows of Venezuela.
The Youth Orchestra of Caracas maintains its special bond with Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, formerly their lead conductor, and he often returns to rehearse the orchestra in the most technical reportoire.
The orchestra has been also conducted by the Venezuelan Maestros Eduardo Marturet, Florian Ebersberg, Eddy Marcano, Rubén Capriles, Edgar Pronio, Ulyses Ascanio, Manuel López, Pablo Castellanos, Rafael Payare, and the international Maestros Isaac Karabtchevsky (Brazil), Missa Johnouchi (Japan) and Sung Kwak (Korea).
In 2011, the Orchestra made its international debut at the Bergen International Music Festival and in Oslo with an astonishing success, followed by a highly acclaimed tour to Asia with concerts in China and Korea. In 2012, the orchestra’s touring work included concerts in Lisbon, Porto, Oslo, at the Ravello Festival, Dvorak Prague Festival, Saint Petersburg, Flanders International Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus and Beethoven Festival in Bonn. In 2013 the Orchestra made its debut at the Salzburg Festival as part of an historic El Sistema residency involving over 1,000 young musicians. In addition, it also performed for the first time in Japan and returned to Korea.
In 2014, the Orchestra returned to Europe with concerts in Zurich, Hamburg, Paris, Budapest and Vienna among other cities.