Thursday, March 26, 2009

Caracas: Classical Concert

The other reason for visiting the Museo de Arte Colonial (or Quinta de Anauco) was that they hold chamber music concerts there on a Sunday afternoon. Venezuela has a strong classical music scene and the youth orchestra played in the Proms last year in London to great acclaim.

So shortly after my tour was sitting in a lovely little concert hall listening to finalists from the Conservatorio de Musica Simon Bolivar play Saint Saines, Haydn and Wagner.

It was an all brass concert, indeed an all horn concert, with some of the pieces transcriptions and with piano accompany. I really enjoyed it, and the brass playing was mostly excellent. It did have a slight college music concert feel about it, with fellow students cheering the players on, and at one point the horn player missed timed his entrance, and the piano accompanist stopped and they back tracked a few bars.

I was surprised to discover I could understand what the people in the row in front were saying - as they were English! They were four teachers from the British and I got talking to them after.

They were quick to invite me to give a talk to their students, but pleaded lack of time. I was introduced to the Director of the Conservatorio and asked him who pays for the instruments, a subject that my father had been curious about.

Apparently while some come from the government, the majority are the results of donations from the Inter American Development Bank.

Having had a rather busy couple of hours, missing Sunday lunch all together, decided at this point had done enough for one day and headed back to the hotel.

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