José Antonio Abreu who created the El Sistema network for young musicians in Venezuela, died on Saturday. He was 78 years old. Abreu started the project in 1975, and since then El Sistema has grown to include more than 900,000 children, taught by 10,000 teachers throughout Venezuela. Yet, the worldwide recognition began with the success of conductor Gustavo Dudamel. In our days, El Sistema suffers, like the entire Venezuela, from the political regime. Tours of the Simon Bolivar Youth orchestra have been cancelled and a large part of the musicians have chosen to quit their native country.

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