Sinfonía Desordenada

Ana María Arévalo Gosen, Spain

The Venezuelan orchestral scene is renowned for rescuing extremely impoverished young people from drug and crime environments into which they would otherwise probably be drawn. With the socio-economic collapse of the country, Venezuelan orchestra musicians cannot survive on their profession but need side jobs. With the arrival of the pandemic, the precariousness of their work increased dramatically.

A model of resilience is the Venezuelan orchestra Sinfónica Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho. This summer, under the direction of Elisa Vegas – the only female conductor of a professional symphony orchestra in Venezuela – and Grammy-nominated singer Horacio Blanco launched the unconventional collaborative project: Sinfonía Desordenada. The unfeasible was achieved: the exquisite full orchestra joined a group of disorderly rockers to record 100% from home a series of symphonic arrangements of some classics from the repertoire of the Venezuelan ska band Desorden Público. And to the question: „And how did they record that? the most unusual answer: With their cell phones…“. In November 2021 two concerts were celebrated. It was beautiful to witness the communion of the musicians playing together with a euphoric audience after such a long time of solitude. From the moment when Elisa lifted her baton until the last chord, it was a celebration, a moment for healing, a gift for hope.

Making this project possible is an enormous act of courage in the conditions in which the country finds itself at the moment, in addition to the accentuated crisis caused by the pandemic. It is a testament to the power of music as a form of resilience, healing, and community building.

Discover more: Shortlist 2022