Venezuelan String Quartet to visit Sistema-inspired programmes in Liverpool, Telford and Norwich

One of El Sistema’s most exciting ensembles, the Libertadores String Quartet, in a cultural exchange organised by Sistema Englandwill visit three of the Sistema-inspired programmes in England to join the tutors in working with the local children. The young Venezuelan musicians will visit In Harmony Liverpool, In Harmony Telford and Stoke-on-Trent, and Sistema in Norwich.

Julian Lloyd Webber, founder of In Harmony and chair of Sistema England, said: “We are thrilled to welcome these young performers whose musical excellence and social engagement are proof of the amazing results achieved by El Sistema in Venezuela. We are especially grateful to Maestro José Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema, for his continuous support of the work done by the In Harmony and Norwich programmes.”

The Quartet will meet with leaders and tutors from most of the In Harmony programmes and Sistema in Norwich on Saturday 9 November at Liverpool, and they will then do some tutoring work with a children’s string quartet from In Harmony Liverpool.

On Monday 11, the Quartet will travel to Telford. They will perform for children aged 4 to 7 at Old Park Primary; they will meet some of the children, age 8, that are learning strings as part of the In Harmony Telford and Stoke-on-Trent programme; they will perform for children aged 8 to 11 and they will listen to a performance by the Year 4 classes and coach some of the children.

On Tuesday 12, the Quartet will head to Norwich. There they will attend performances by the children from Catton Grove and Larkman Primary schools, and they will join the tutors and children in rehearsals. At 7:00pm the young Venezuelan musicians will offer a recital for the community at The Chapel at 64 Park Lane. They will perform string quartets by Mozart (No. 17, “The Hunt”) and Tchaikovsky (No. 1).

On Thursday 14, at 7:30pm, the Quartet will perform at the Bolívar Hall in London, at 54 Grafton Way. You can read more about this performance here.

“This visit by the Libertadores String Quartet is a great opportunity for enriching cultural and academic exchange that will really benefit all involved,” said Marshall Marcus, director and trustee of Sistema England, who has taught in Venezuela’s El Sistema since the 1970’s.

The Libertadores Quartet, formed by musicians from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, was founded in May 2012 with the aim of performing and developing Venezuelan and Latin American chamber music through academic training and performance.

The ensemble includes Ollantay Velásquez (violin), Eddie Cordero (violin), Otto Rodríguez (viola) and José David Márquez (cello).

The Libertadores Quartet is part of the National Network of Quartets in Venezuela and the Latin American Academy of Chamber Music, institutions supervised by the Simón Bolívar Music Foundation, the governing body of El Sistema.

Sistema in Norwich is led by Norfolk & Norwich Community Arts. In Harmony Liverpool, led by the Liverpool Philharmonic, and In Harmony Telford and Stoke-on-Trent, led by Telford & Wrekin Music, are part of the national In Harmony scheme funded by the Department for Education and National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The Sistema England charity - led by In Harmony founder Julian Lloyd Webber - promotes, fundraises and creates opportunities for the development and expansion of Sistema-inspired programmes, also serving as a liaison between them and El Sistema in Venezuela.