José Antonio Abreu (1939-2018)

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1998, Mr José Antonio Abreu, was a world-renowned Venezuelan conductor committed to making music education a vehicle for development.

Founder of the National Network of Children's and Youth Orchestras of Venezuela (El Sistema), he has trained more than 150 orchestras representing more than 100,000 young musicians. These orchestras are intended to spread music among children in popular districts and to promote music in all strata of Venezuelan society.

In his capacity as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mr Abreu performed at the Organization Headquarters and around the world to support UNESCO’s programmes promoting musical education for young people and children, or the education of disadvantaged children.

In addition, he served as a Minister of Culture from 1983 to 1988 and President of Venezuela’s National Council for Culture.

José Antonio Abreu passed away on 24 March 2018.

Back to top