The Young Musicians From “Symphony for Peru” Touched Souls at Madrid's Royal Theater

Members of Symphony for Peru in Madrid, Spain. Image used with permission.

Symphony for Peru is an organization created by renowned Peruvian operatic tenor, Juan Diego Flórez, as a way to change the lives of disadvantaged Peruvian youth through music.

According to the website, data obtained from a study of children who participated in the program, show a marked improvement in many areas of their lives:



Currently, there are about 7000 children and over 20 formation centers all over the country that have felt the benefits of Symphony for Peru. In 2014, the Development Effectiveness Overview (DEO) stated:

The project established four musical centers in four very different areas in Peru: the marginalized, urban ghettos of Trujillo (coastal), Huancayo (mountain), Huánuco (rainforest), and Manchay-Lima (desert). Each center brings music to […] children and adolescents living at or below the poverty level. […] The setting of the program helps children build their self-esteem, encourages them to have goals in life and to achieve those goals, promotes improved school performance, strengthens family ties, and facilitates positive involvement in their community.

On the group website, we can find accounts from some of the children who participate with the orchestra about what the program means to them:

La música para mí es algo que se debe tocar con sentimiento, con emoción [pero que necesita también] de disciplina. Cuando toco el violín me siento más feliz, más emocionada. Contenta de poder tener en mis manos un instrumento que me llena de felicidad.

To me, music is something that has to be felt while being played, with excitement [but it also needs] discipline. When I play the violin, I feel happier, more excited. Happy to have an instrument in my hands that makes me so happy.

Expanding horizons

On October 29, 2017, a group from Symphony for Peru — alongside founder Juan Diego Flórez — made their way to Spain to participate in the 15th anniversary celebration of Volunteers Telefónica at Madrid's Royal Theater. 

Part of the group at Lima airport, before flying to Spain. Image used with permission.

On their Facebook page, the group uploaded a brief interview with Flórez, rehearsal videos and a rendition of the well-known song, Mambo No. 5:

Sinfonía por el Perú en el Teatro Real

#SomosSpp?Gran concierto ayer Domingo 29 en el Teatro Real con Sinfonía por el Perú y la Escuela de Música Reina Sofía por el 15 Aniversario de Voluntarios Telefónica ✨???¡Gracias Telefónica y Fundación Telefónica por la inolvidable experiencia!#CantoTocoCrezco

Geplaatst door Sinfonía por el Perú op maandag 30 oktober 2017

Symphony for Peru at Royal Theater
We are all Symphony for Peru ?Great concert yesterday, Sunday 29 at Royal Theater with Symphony for Peru and Queen Sofia Music School to celebrate 15 years of Volunteers Telefónica ✨??? Thanks, Telefónica and Telefónica Foundation for such an unforgettable experience! #ISingIPlayIGrowUp
Publicado por Symphony for Peru on October 30, 2017.

While they were in the Spanish capital, Symphony for Peru also took the opportunity to rehearse with members of the Queen Sofia Music School. It was a moment for both groups to exchange and share experiences through music.

Rehearsals before performing at Royal Theater. Image used with permission.

On Twitter, the group shared videos and photos of their tour in Spain and some of the events they participated in:

Great concert and Royal Theater, with Juan Diego Flórez, Queen Sofia Music School on the 15 anniversary of Volunteers Telefonica.??❤️

Very proud of our kids! ?❤️

Symphony for Peru concert at Royal Theater, Madrid.
Symphony for Peru concert at Royal Theater, Madrid.

With all these activities, these young musicians have started on a path that will certainly allow them to “sing, play, grow!“.


  • Patricia Behler

    I am so pleased that this type of program has been established by Juan Diego Flores; he is one of my favorite participants with the Metropolitan Opera USA! What a great heart he has to support the development of young Peruvians. This reminds me of a small effort that was similar to this by a sister Peace Corps member when we served in Arequipa in the barriada of Alto de Selva Alegre. Sue Dickinson, a Volunteer, who was trained in music, gathered neighborhood girls into a chorus (about 10) and taught them vocal music. Then, as news spread, they were invited to sing at an event in downtown Arequipa that the then Mayor hosted. Sue made sure that the girls wore their best , nicest, cleanest white blouses for the presentation. It was noted that these girls from a hillside barriada could present themselves well and sing beautifully. A small accomplishment then, but this next step now exceeds my expectations and makes us so proud!

  • Patricia Behler

    Hope to receive comments from others, especially from Juan Diego Flores and some of the young people!

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