The National Children's Symphony of Venezuela (NCSV) was founded by José Antonio Abreu in 1995 and now comprises some of the most talented children and teenagers across the country, aged 10-17. Almost 50 years into the history of El Sistema — Venezuela's national federally-funded musical education program — the NCSV highlights how, through the collective practice of music, the educational methodology of El Sistema supports the dreams of its members.
The fifth generation of the NCSV comprises 170 talented musicians along with their musical director, Andrés David Ascanio Abreu. They made their debut in February 2023 during the celebration of the 48th anniversary of El Sistema. Their first international tour was to Geneva, Switzerland in April 2023 where they performed at Victoria Hall and the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room of the United Nations.
The story of the NCSV began in 1995 on international stages such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and at the U.N. headquarters in New York. In 1998 they performed at the UNESCO headquarters, where Abreu was awarded the title of UNESCO Ambassador and the young musicians were honored as “artists for peace.” The same year, they performed in Milan, Naples, Florence, Rome, and the Vatican. In 1999 they took part in the Fiuggi-Anagni, Taormina Art 99, and Montevago music festivals.
In 2000, they performed concerts in Hannover, Düsseldorf, Heilbronn, Munich, Munster, Magdebur, and Berlin, as well as in Jamaica and Brazil. In 2001, they returned to the Inter-American Development Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., and performed at the Lincoln Memorial, as well as at the U.N. In 2002, they performed again in Italy and Germany.
In 2010, the second generation of students in the NCSV made their debut in the Aula Magna of the Central Univesrity of Venezuela, conducted by Simon Rattle. The next generation of the NCSV after that performed at the 2013 Salzburg Festival, also conducted by Rattle. In 2015, the fourth generation performed at La Scala in Milan, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.