Venezuelan musician, composer, and economist Jose Antonio Abreu was recognized this Tuesday in Estocolmo for the Polar Music Prize, considered the Nobel Prize for music.
The jury stated in its decision that the work of Abreu has been “driven by a vision that the world of classical music can help improve the lives of Venezuela's children” and cited his National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras, a network of over 250 thousand youth musicians in orchestras and choirs.
The network has served hundreds of thousands of young people as a “tool to escape poverty” and as model for other Latin American countries.
Born in Valera, Trujillo (Venezuelan Andean region) in 1939, Maestro Abreu has received other honors such as the Frankfurt Music Prize in recognition of his work with the youth of Venezuela.
The other winner of the prize was the musician Peter Gabriel of Great Britain.
Abreu and Gabriel have joined the ranks of soprano Renee Fleming and rock group Pink Floyd, who were last years’ winners.
The Polar Prize was created in 1989 by Stig Andersson, editor, composer, and manager of the group ABBA.
Since 1992, the Polar Prize has recognized artists such as B.B. King, Cyorgy Ligeti, Keith Jarrett, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Pierre Boulez, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Dizzy Gillespie, Sony Rollins y Gilberto Gil.
Venezolana de Televisión, Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States / May 12, 2009