Some friends attended the three concerts this week in Toronto performed by the musicians of the The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela. And each raved! ‘Amazing’. ‘Brilliant’. ‘Fantastic’. ‘World class’. The brass ensemble played at the Royal Conservatory’s new Koerner Hall and the full orchestra played a gala at the Four Seasons Opera/Ballet House and for 15 thousand students at the Rogers Centre. Anybody not heard them? Check them out at the 2008 BBC Proms on YouTube. Stunning!
The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra (SBYO) of Venezuela has taken Toronto by storm. In a whirlwind of events this week the founder and leading spirit of the orchestra, Jose Antonio Abreu, was in town to accept the $50,000 Glenn Gould Prize, whose past recipients have included the likes of Oscar Peterson, Yehudi Menuhin and Pierre Boulez.