Ben van Dijk from the Netherlands visited El Sistema (Venezuela) in 2005
"During the last 15 years, Master classes and tours made me go to many places in the world but I had never been in Latin-America before so this idea sounded like music to my ears..." Ben van Dijk
*** and his wife Joke made me feel very welcome. I was still full of question marks about the upcoming event. In the evening two men, from the organization, were going to visit us with the latest news about the class and possible concert. Leonardo Mendez, coordinator of the brass in the organization told me what they had in mind for me. He thought some 40 trombonists would show up and my plan to do a tutti warm-up, giving master classes and ensemble training would be great for the students.
Through my conversation with *** and Joke den Haas; but also with Leonardo Mendez and one of my translators Rodrigo, I started to learn more and more about the organization. 30 years ago JOSE ANTONIO ABREU founded the Symphony Orchestra Simon Bolivar and the National Symphony Youth Orchestra (NSYO). The success of NSYO under Abreu’s direction led to the establishment of youth orchestras in other Venezuelan states, which has grown into the National System of Children and Youth Orchestras of Venezuela, under the auspices of a State Foundation with the name “FESNOJIV”.