Breaking: Sistema founder pulls out of London press conference

Breaking: Sistema founder pulls out of London press conference


norman lebrecht

June 06, 2014

Message just received:

We are very sorry to inform you that Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu will not attend the press conference announced for Saturday 7 June 2014, 12 noon, at St Paul Pavilion Room, Level 6, Southbank Centre.

The press conference will go ahead with:
Christian Vasquez, conductor of the Teresa Carreno Youth Orchestra
Eduardo Mendez, Director General of Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar (El Sistema)
Gillian Moore, Head of Classical Music at Southbank Centre
Shân Maclennan, Creative Director of Learning & Participation at Southbank Centre

Please receive the apologies of Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar for this inconvenience.

No reason has been given. Could it be that Maestro Abreu did not want to face independent questioning about his political allies in Venezuela?

abreu dudamel


  • Rob van der Hilst says:

    This great old man – Erasmusprizewinner a.o. -survived almost everything and everyone in his homecountry, even its present populist regime. So why not the bold European press? (Answer: that’s why).

  • m2n2k says:

    He is more than smart enough to have known about the kind of questioning that awaited him when he originally agreed to appear, so I don’t think that suddenly becoming afraid of it is the reason for pulling out. Simply, he is an old and very frail man who was hoping to be there but realized close to the last moment that he is not feeling well and/or strong enough to make this public appearance.

  • Crowabout2 says:

    Governments may come and go, critics will come and go, but the enormous social and musical legacy that Jose Abreu has built and continues to build for the sake of the children and young people of his country will outlast them all. An incredible man with vision and a sense of purpose.