Venezuela’s National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras – known as “El Sistema” – has set a new Guinness record for the world’s largest orchestra with 8,573 musicians playing together, the country’s government has said.
Guinness World Records in a video released Saturday announced that the musicians, all connected to the country’s network of youth orchestras, earned the designation with a performance a week earlier of Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March.
The musicians, ranging in age from 12 to 77 years, attempted the record during a patriotic concert at a military academy in the capital of Caracas.
To set the record, more than 8,097 had to be tallied playing at the same time during a five-minute period of Tchaikovsky’s piece, to beat the 2019 record set by Russia.
The network of orchestras — known as El Sistema, or The System — assembled some 12,000 musicians for the concert.
More than 250 supervisors were each assigned a group of musicians to observe during the record attempt.
After the judges deliberated for 10 days, Guinness World Records expert Susana Reyes announced that the El Sistema had been successful in setting the new record.
Guinness World Records stipulated musicians must be playing simultaneously without people swapping in and out, or lending their instruments to other players.
The musicians were congratulated by Venezuela’s Information Minister Freddy Nanez and the Russian ambassador on Saturday in an address broadcast on state television.
During the broadcast, President Nicolas Maduro showed the certificate from Guinness World Records that recognised that El Sistema broke the record.
Conditions require musicians to be playing simultaneously without people swapping in and out, or lending their instruments to other players.
El Sistema counts some 350,000 children and youths among its ranks, playing in a network of 180 orchestras.
Venezuela’s El-Sistema wins Guinness Record World’s largest orchestra