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"If you were music, I would listen to you ceaselessly, and my low spirits would brighten up." - Anna Akhmatova

This Venezuelan conductor has received his education thanks to what men call his native country 'El Sistema': a free state system for music education. The system connects children from disadvantaged neighborhoods with music in about 90 countries. In addition, it offers the most talented children a professional education.

That is how Christian Vásquez started as a nine-year-old violinist in one of the country's youth orchestras. From 2001 he studied orchestral conducting under the direction of José Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema. Vásquez feeds several youth orchestras, but his major breakthrough came in 2008 when he conducted Mahler's Second Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra. With this orchestra he also made several tours. It brought the conductor to the attention of many other orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Christian Vásquez has been chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Stavanger and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela since 2013, which he had some time ago as a major European tour. At the beginning of 2015, he made his debut as an opera conductor at the Norwegian Opera. There has been a warm relationship between Het Gelders Orkest and Christian Vásquez for years. From 2016 until the beginning of 2019 he was attached to the orchestra as a regular guest conductor.

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