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Musicians From Venezuela Aim To Break Guinness World Record For Largest Orchestra

Some 12,000 musicians are looking for a place in the record books after performing in what is believed to be the largest ever orchestra assembled to play a piece. Judges from Guinness World Records will announce in the next 10 days whether the Venezuelan musicians have wrested the record from a 2019 Russian orchestra of 8,097 artists.

The 12-minute performance of Tchaikovsky's Slavonic March took place in the courtyard of the Venezuelan Military Academy as the sun went down on Saturday, November 13, 2021. The performers, aged between 12 and 77, wore black pants, white shirts and mandatory face masks.

Some 250 observers from the Venezuelan arm of accounting company KPMG were on hand to audit the effort. Each performer had to play an instrument for at least five minutes of the piece. The orchestral tone poem, published in 1876, was written to celebrate the intervention of Russia in the Serbo-Turkish War.

The rendition was part of a one-hour concert that also included the Venezuelan national anthem and a version of the popular song Alma Llanera, considered by many Venezuelans as the unofficial anthem.

Upon finishing the piece, the musicians erupted into cheers and lifted their instruments high, some waving Venezuelan flags.

The musicians were brought together by Venezuela's publicly funded "El Sistema" music program. Founded in 1975, the scheme has provided classical music training to thousands of working-class children. One of the program's most famous alumni is Gustavo Dudamel, the musical director of the Paris Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

rc/fb (EFE, AFP, AP)

Source: DW

Story first published: Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 8:00 [IST]