Video: Venezuela’s new conductor – just 16 years old

Video: Venezuela’s new conductor – just 16 years old


norman lebrecht

December 14, 2013

This is José Ángel Salazar Marín. He has been taking lessons since he was 13 with Felipe Izacaray and is now getting to strut his stuff with sistema orchestras. One to watch.

José Angel Salazar Marin


  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    One to watch, indeed. Thanks for sharing. There is much to compliment and a bit to criticize but that’s to be expected from a 16yo. I found the opening tempo lethargic but I guess it’s difficult to that big train moving. Let’s make a note to check him out again in 5 years. He appears to have Maestro Abreu’s blessing.

    I am constantly overwhelmed, for better and often for worse, by the size of these orchestras and the quantity of sound they generate. It’s as if they are trying to reproduce the sound of the great orchestras they hear in their headphones and I question that approach using quintuple woodwinds, doubled brass, and countless strings (I am guessing 12 stands of first violins). It’s as if they are always ready for Mahler 8 at the drop of a baton. I hope they get to play some Mozart and Haydn and even some modern works for smaller ensembles. I also notice that they don’t appear to use sound shields or ear plugs. I would not want to sit in front of that brass and percussion group!

    • Paul Velazquez says:

      Dear Robert,

      Do not forget “el sistema” is a social program based on music education, and orchestral training. For that reason they have enormous orchestras, so that everyone has a chance to do music.

      I invite you to read more about “el sistema” before judging.

      Have a pleasant day.

    • Herbert Pauls says:

      They should not be afraid to tackle Mozart and Haydn once in a while, even with their larger groups. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that eighteenth-century audiences also greatly enjoyed their own music on the comparatively rare occasions when it was played by very large forces (cf. Johann Hiller, Dittersdorf, etc.). It is we who have somehow developed the assumption that this is something “wrong”. I know orchestral players who really miss playing Mozart and Haydn because their orchestra is cut down in size when those composers come up on the programming, which is done in accordance with our peculiarly modern notions of authenticity.

  • Diane Q. Forti says:

    All I can say is, if this is the future of our orchestras, bring it on! All criticisms aside, their energy and enthusiasm (and attention!) should be lauded. I found this rendition very moving.

  • Stefan Bevier says:


  • No se olviden que nuestro Dudamel también comenzó “por el principio”. La práctica y el estudio es lo que da los grandes maestros

    y no dudo que este chico lo logre pues a su corta edad se le ve la materia musical.

    • José Bergher says:

      Translation..- Don’t forget that our Dudamel also started “from the beginning.” Practice and study is what produces the great masters and I don’t doubt this boy will attain it (become one) because at his young age you can see his music material.

  • Felipe Izcaray says:

    I have a dual relationship with Jose Angel Salazar, as his teacher and friend (He calls me Grandpa/Teacher). He is a very serious and dedicated music student. What is seen is no improvisation or lightly achieved conducting. He studies hard and prepares thoroughly before he tackles a work. The tempo in the Wagner was decided after deep analysis on his part. He is also a very good violinist with wide experience in chamber music. His violin teacher, Maestro Santiago Garmendia is one of Prof. Pardee’s most appreciated alumni.

    As for style and conducting the classical repertoire, JASM has conducted a lot of works. Since he is the main conductor of the Margarita Youth Regional Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Nueva Esparta Symphony, the list of already conducted works is ample.

    Oh, I forgot to say, he IS a normal teenager, he enjoys life, goes to the movies, to the mall, and he has a girlfriend (she plays cello).

    Sinfonía n. 1 en Do Mayor – L. V. Beethoven.

    Obertura “Coriolano” – L. V. Beethoven.

    Concierto para Violoncello y Orquesta n. 2 – D. Kabalevsky.

    Sinfonía n. 9 en mi Menor “Nuevo Mundo” – A. Dvorak.

    Sinfonía n. 5 en Do menor – L. V. Beethoven.

    Marcha Eslava – P. I. Tchaikovsky.

    Concierto para Violín y Orquesta – S. Barber.

    Obertura “Romeo y Julieta” – P. I. Tchaikovsky.

    Concierto para Violín y Orquesta – P. I. Tchaikovsky.

    Rio de las 7 estrellas – Evencio Castellanos.

    Obertura “Guillermo Tell” – G. Rossini.

    Obertura “1812” – P. I. Tchaikovsky.

    Glosa Sinfónica – Margariteña.-Carreño

    Obertura Candide – Leonard Bernstein.

    Obertura “El Mucielago” – J. Strauss.

    Obertura de la ópera “Carmen” – G. Bizet.

    Obertura Festiva – D. Shostakovich.

    Sinfonía n. 5 – F. Schubert.

    Adagio for Strings – S. Barber.

    Gran Fanfarria – G. Castro.

    Sinfonía n. 94 “Aurprise” – J. Haydn.

    Danzas del ballet “La Estancia” – A. Ginastera.

    Sensemayá – S. Revueltas.

    Obertura “Maestros Cantores de Nuremberg” – R. Wagner.

    Concierto para Piano y orquesta n. 20 – W. A. Mozart.

    Concierto para Piano y orquesta n. 23 – W.A. Mozart.

    Motete “Exultate Jubilate” – W. A. Mozart.

    Concierto 1 para Corno y Orquesta – R. Strauss.

    Peer Gynt Suite n. 1 – E. Grieg.

    Sinfonía n. 3 “Eroica” – L. V. Beethoven.