Last Friday, July 12, at the Center for Social Action through Music (CSAM) in Caracas, the members of the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela played a four-hour program that featured works inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The concert was useful to the orchestra in testing the resistance and skills of its young members before repeating this challenging concert program at the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Christian Vásquez and Diego Matheuz.
Cheers and applauses received the Venezuelan musicians from the audience after giving renditions of Romeo and Juliet (fantasy overture) by Tchaikovsky; Roméo et Juliette, op. 17 by Hector Berlioz; Romeo and Juliet Suite, op 64 by Sergei Prokofiev; Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor.
According to Vásquez, the biggest challenge was to keep the musicians’ concentration and energy at optimum levels. Vásquez, who serves as principal conductor of the TCYOV, also said that he feels the orchestra is full of energy and ready to shine at the Salzburg Festival.
For his part, Matheuz said the orchestra’s performance was excellent. “It was of great help knowing the program well as we’ve played it on previous occasions,” he added.
Matheuz, who will make his first appearance at the Salzburg Festival as conductor, said he has high expectations about the El Sistema residency. “Salzburg will go crazy with the performance of the National Children’s Orchestra of Venezuela under Simon Rattle, ” he affirmed.
The debut of the TCYOV at the Salzburg Festival will take place on July 25 at the Großes Festspielhaus.