Interview with Leonardo Mendez in the book: Venezuela. The Miracle of Music by Chefi Borzacchini
Interview with Leonardo Mendez in the book: Venezuela the miracle of music
by the writer Venezuela-the-miracle-of-music-chefi-borzacchini.html
(See page 220).
Equilibrium at the epicenter
Among the cultural managers to have emerged from the orchestras, Leonardo Méndez is one of the most remarkable. A trumpet player trained at Barquisimeto Nucleus and later a member of the SJVSB, he has held a number of posts at the System, where he has always demonstrated an amiable disposition, composure, and equilibrium. But one of the tasks he has found most demanding has been the coordination Leonardo Méndez of the different areas at the Center for Social Action through Music.
“As envisaged by Maestro Abreu, the best things in music are happening at the Center for Social Action. It’s the epicenter of an effervescent cultural activity of an extremely high international standard that few music centers in the world can equal. On a typical day we have, for example, one of the largest concert halls being used for a rehearsal with Maestro Abbado and the Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra, while Dudamel and the SJVSB are recording for Deutsche Grammophon, and at the same time, an international seminar on choral singing is being held with the Austrian professor, Gerald Wirth and more than 30 directors of the System’s choirs. As though that were not enough, more than 250 pupils are in the classrooms and more are in the library. In other words, in one day we might have more than 700 people engaged in some kind of activity; and that does not take into account the Saturday program, when, from eight in the morning, a fair number of musicians, students, and teachers from all over the country meet here to take classes at the Latin American Academies.”
Planning and drawing up the schedules of activities that are carried out at the Center for Social Action through Music’s 14,000 square meters is no easy task. “ We love what we do and we know how hard we have fought to have a modern music center and a new concept of conservator y such as this one. That is why we all respect this infrastructure and its schedules, although the truth is that the musicians and teachers like being here so much that we often have to reprimand them because they stay past opening hours and we are late in closing,” notes Méndez.