The Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (SBYOV) was founded on February 12, 1975, by maestro José Antonio Abreu, and is the most polished artistic product of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras.
The orchestra has had two principal conductors: its founder, maestro Abreu, who held the post for over two decades and maestro Alfredo Rugeles, its current artistic director. In addition to Dr. Abreu and maestro Rugeles, the orchestra has welcomed prominent guest conductors to its podium, whose contributions to the orchestra’s artistic standards proved invaluable.
The SBYOV has performed with famous soloists and renowned ensembles. It has appeared in many music festivals, gala concerts, and special events in Venezuela and abroad, and it has played at many of the most important venues of Europe, Asia, and North and South America.
The SBYOV’s varied repertoire includes important Venezuelan and Latin-American pieces which have won renown and popularity due to the orchestra’s performances and recordings. Between 1980 and 1981, the orchestra released three albums, and in the nineties, produced some recordings for Dorian under the baton of Eduardo Mata, Enrique Diemecke, Maximiano Valdés and Keri-Lynn Wilson. In 2006, the SBYOV began to record for Deutsche Grammophone under the conduction of Gustavo Dudamel. Since then four compact discs has already been produced.
Since 1976 the Teresa Carreño Theater is its permanent home, wherein the orchestra’s weekly performances are held and the Orchestral Academic Program (Programa Académico Orquestal) is developed since 2001. Through this program, the best musicians from the Núcleos around the country join the SBYOV – led by Gustavo Dudamel – continue their musical education under the tutelage of world-renowned institutions and El Sistema’s most experienced musicians.