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'Los Músicos Venezolanos Arriban' in or Near San Francisco

November 27, 2012

Dudamel conducts Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar "Los músicos venezolanos arriban este lunes 26 a Berkeley, San Francisco," says the e-mail from the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington — in effect placing Berkeley in San Francisco, a common error in foreign lands.

The embassy, part of the Mininistry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs, is touting the long-awaited concerts by the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel, and an important symposium on music education and El Sistema, which is responsible for the Dudamel-Bolivar phenomenon.

The English version of the note got it more accurately, except for improvising on the name of the university:

This North-American tour starts November 28th in Berkeley University, CA, when for 4 days the Venezuelan musicians will participate in a residence with seminars, master classes, chamber music concerts in schools and communities of the city and two more concerts — November 29th and 30th — at famous Zellerbach Hall, with its 2000 people capacity.

Members of the Pacific Boychoir will join the Venezuelans in performance Photo by Eric PolitzerThe important news here is that there are still a few — very few — tickets available for those Nov. 29 and 30 concerts on the Cal Performances website.

The opportunity to hear this amazing ensemble — in a fascinating program of music by Chávez, Orbón, Revueltas, Benzecry, Villa-Lobos, and Estévez — may not come around again any time soon.

Members of the University Chorus and the Pacific Boychoir join the Venezuelans for the Nov. 30 program, "¡MUSICA!: a Celebration of Music from Latin America." Preparations in Berkeley for the Villa-Lobos Chôros No. 10 and the Estévez Cantata Criolla have taken two months.

Predicts a Boychoir singer: "It will really stun the audience when we sing the end of the Chôro. It goes really fast, and then slows right down. There's going to be a standing ovation, and everyone's going to say Yay!"