Venezuela claims Guinness World Record for largest orchestra

CARACAS, November 20 (Reuters) – The Venezuelan National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras – known as “El Sistema” – has set a new Guinness Record for the largest orchestra in the world with 8,573 musicians playing together, the country’s government said on Saturday.

A week ago, over 12,000 musicians performed a classical piece together for more than five minutes as they sought to break a Russian record set two years ago. Read more

Venezuelan Information Minister Freddy Nanez and Russian Ambassador to Caracas Sergey Melik-Bagdasarov congratulated the musicians on Saturday in a speech broadcast on state television.

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The show included a recording by Guinness World Records expert Susana Reyes announcing that the Venezuelan musicians had managed to set a new record after playing Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Slavic March for more than five minutes.

During the show, President Nicolas Maduro showed the Guinness World Records certificate which recognized that “El Sistema” had broken the record with 8,573 musicians in the orchestra.

The previous record was for an orchestra of 8,097 musicians performing together in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The conditions demand that musicians play simultaneously without anyone trading and lending their instruments to other players.

Guinness did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“El Sistema” has some 350,000 children and young people in its ranks, playing in a network of 180 orchestras.

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Reporting by Vivian Sequera Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Sandra Maler

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