Stories

Composing Your Future: #UN75 from Venezuela's youth to the world


A young woman is shown playing the flute as a member of a youth orchestra.
Photo: El Sistema, Venezuela

Young Venezuelans inspire the world to build a better future through the transformative power of music.  

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the UN country team in Venezuela and “El Sistema”, the National System of Youth and Children´s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, launched the contest “Composing Your Future”, which invited musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 to compose a piece in the symphonic and choral-symphonic genre, inspired by the central theme of “The Future We Want”. 

Caption: Young talented musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 were invited to compose music inspired by the central theme of “The Future We Want”. Photos courtesy of El Sistema, Venezuela.

Living in harmony with the planet, fulfilling human rights, education, love, equality, solidarity, the right of children to live a happy life, perseverance and hope for a better future are some of the messages that inspired 32 young composers to write the new music that will inspire the world to build a better future together.

The winning composers and their messages

The works awarded from the cities of Barquisimeto, Upata and Los Teques were created by three young composers of great talent who inspired the jury with their proposals:

1. Julio Landaeta, winner of the first place with his work "Laberinto Encantado" (Enchanted Labyrinth)

2. Fernando Rivas, second place winner with his work "Epifanías del cataclismo" (Epihanies of the Cataclysm)

3. Jorge Díaz, third place winner with his work "Amalivaca"

The jury composed by Peter Grohmann, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in Venezuela, Eduardo Méndez, Executive Director of El Sistema, and world-renowned maestros Lourdes Sánchez, Alfredo Rugeles, Pablo Castellanos, Orlando Cardozo and Rodolfo Saglimbeni, examined a total of 32 musical proposals from all regions of the country, taking into account factors such as orchestration, organology, discourse, textures, writing, theme and the general vision of each work.

Caption: Jury: world-renowned maestros Lourdes Sánchez, Alfredo Rugeles, Pablo Castellanos, Orlando Cardozo and Rodolfo Saglimbeni. Eduardo Méndez, Executive Director of El Sistema and Peter Grohmann, Resident Coordinator of the UN in Venezuela.

Photo: El Sistema, Venezuela

"We are convinced of the power of the universal language of music to inspire and call for collective action to build more inclusive, peaceful and resilient societies, with gender equality, protecting the planet and accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals," UN Resident Coordinator Peter Grohmann.

The virtual award ceremony consisted of delivering certificates to the first, second and third place, accompanied by a cash prize, a ceremony that highlighted the opinions of young composers and their key messages.

"El Sistema joins the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, with whom we have carried out “Composing your Future” to encourage the young musicians of El Sistema to create the new music that will serve as motivation and inspiration to advance towards a better future", Eduardo Méndez, Executive Director of El Sistema.  

Music in the time of COVID-19

The ambitious project of giving life to the winning piece, an unpublished composition, consisted in making the performance of 65 young musicians from the Simón Bolívar 45th Anniversary Orchestra possible, in accordance with the rules of distance to prevent COVID-19. 

This task was possible thanks to a world-class educational, artistic and professional team of El Sistema, which also had the collaboration of recognized professionals such as a team of sound and editing engineers who have worked with institutions such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl.

Caption: Simón Bolívar conducts the orchestra performance of the winning piece, "The Enchanted Labyrinth" by Julio Landaeta.

Photo: El Sistema, Venezuela


Promoting the development and rights of children and youth

The UN and “El Sistema” have a longstanding partnership working in the promoting of social inclusion, peace and the resilience of children and youth in Venezuela. Among other initiatives, “El Sistema” is Promoter of Sustainable Human Development of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and National Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

More than one million children and youth are part of “El Sistema", set up through 443 centres and 1704 modules throughout the country in urban and rural areas of Venezuela, making the plan for social transformation that Maestro Abreu dreamed of in 1975 a reality.  The artistic and educational model has been replicated in more than 70 countries, giving access to the arts, culture and music to millions of children and young people around the world. On its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is proud to promote social inclusion and the rights of children and youth with El Sistema. 

Caption: "The Enchanted Labyrinth" by Julio Landaeta, first place of the contest "Composing Your Future". The unpublished composition was brought to life with the performance of 65 young musicians from the Simón Bolívar 45th Anniversary Orchestra who recorded with groups following distancing rules to prevent COVID-19.

Photo essay was originally published and produced by UN Venezuela. Written by Carmen Morales and Daniela Acevedo of the UN country team in Venezuela. All photos courtesy of El Sistema, Venezuela. 

 

UN entities involved in this initiative
RCO
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
Other entities involved in this initiative
UN
United Nations

Goals we are supporting through this initiative