Gustavo Dudamel protests Venezuela's cancellation of orchestra tour in Asia

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela suffers with government cuts

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

In this Jan. 1, 2017 file photo, maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. AP FILE

MIAMI - After Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's administration canceled the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela's tour in Asia, Venezuelan conductor and violinist Gustavo Dudamel responded on Twitter Thursday. 

The tour of the government-funded youth orchestra was supposed to begin next week. Some 180 Venezuelan musicians were hoping to travel to Taiwan, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

"My heart is broken by yet another cancellation by the Venezuelan government of a tour by El Sistema orchestra," Dudame wrote. "For my dear brothers and sisters in Venezuela, remain strong and proud - we are the future."

Dudamel, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, also said he is committed to defending the freedom of expression of Venezuelans. 

"Music shall forever nourish our dreams of better days to come," Dudamel wrote. 

Dudamel published opinion pieces critical of Maduro in The New York Times and El Pais.

Critics of Maduro blame his administration for the death of 17-year-old violinist  Armado Cañizales, who was fatally shot during a May 3 protest, and the injuries, arrest and harassment of 23-year-old violinist Wuilly Arteaga, who recently left Venezuela. 

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