t is the beginning of the Prince d'Asturias prizewinners season, and in
Oviedo, northern Spain, the winner of the Arts prize has been
announced. Last year Bob Dylan won, and took home a cheque for 50 000
euros, a diploma, and a handsome Jean Miro staute for over four decades
of music-making. This year's Prince d'Asturias arts prize, the 28th,
has gone to the Youth and Children orchestras of Venezuela.
in 1975 to allow music students, particularly those from poor
backgounds, to put their theoretical skills into practice, it has since
taught over 600 000 young Venezuelans, and built a network of 15 000
teachers from all over the world.
The orchestra has been so
successful it led to its founder, José Antonio Abreu, being appointed a
special UNESCO ambassador to develop and promote the Venezuelan model
It is currently composed of 120 youth, and 60 children's orchestras.