Following the success of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela's five-day Residency in April which attracted 60,000 visitors to the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre welcomes the return of the Orchestra's Millennium String Quartet for a free hour-long Friday Tonic concert at The Clore Ballroom.
Made up of violinists Ollantay Velasquez and Miguel Nieves, violist Richard Urbano and cellist Valmore Nieves, the Millennium String Quartet last appeared in London in a late night concert with Cuban jazz violinist Omar Puente as part of La Linea during Southbank Centre's Sounds Venezuela Residency.
The Quartet's programme includes Czech composer Antonín Dvořák's beloved American String Quartet and Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera's fiery String Quartet No. 1, with promises of additional Latin encores.
Formed in November 2000, all four members of the Millennium String Quartet emerged from youth orchestras of Venezuela's revolutionary El Sistema, which was founded in 1975 by Professor Jose Antonio Abreu and has trained more than a quarter of a million children to play in 125 Venezuelan youth orchestras. These young musicians, many from deeply underprivileged backgrounds, play with a dynamism and professionalism of such a compelling nature, that they have created a social and musical revolution that has gone round the world.
Following the Sounds Venezuela Residency, which attracted visitors from nearly 30 counties across the UK and as far afield as Japan and California, as well as approximately 4000 under-16s, Southbank Centre continues to honour its commitment to bring young audiences and musicians into the heart of the organisation.
Earlier in June, Southbank Centre took part in the launch of the El Sistema-inspired In Harmony Lambeth project, part of the £3-million pilot scheme funded by the DCSF which encourages participation in music – in the form of the Symphony Orchestra – to provide opportunities for local children to grow and develop, both socially and musically. Lambeth Music Services and Southbank Centre won the tender to pilot the London scheme in Lambeth.
Millennium String Quartet
Ollantay Velasquez, violin
Miguel Nieves, violin
Richard Urbano, viola
Valmore Nieves, cello
Antonín Dvořák String Quartet No. 6 in F Major, Op. 96 American
Alberto Ginastera String Quartet No. 1 Op. 20
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