Venezuela's National Child Symphony performs at La Scala

13-23 Aug. The Venezuelan National Child Symphony, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, performs at La Scala on 21 and 23 August. Made up of 8-13 year-olds the orchestra will pay tribute to the importance of Italian musicians and conductors, particularly the late Claudio Abbado, who have helped young Venezuelans discover music as a way to beat drugs and crime.

El Sistema, an educational programme founded in 1975 by Antonio Abreu to help children out of poverty, has so far assisted 700,000 children at risk and hopes eventually to teach one million play an instrument.

Five Venezuelan orchestras and two choirs will be performing in Milan, starting with the Manos Blancas choir (see photo) at the Milan conservatory on 12-13 August.