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UPDATE: Los Angeles Philharmonic's Gustavo Dudamel Responds to Criticism of Public Appearance with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

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Feb 21, 2014 10:18 AM EST

"With our music, and with our instruments in hand, we declare an absolute no to violence and an resounding yes to peace." -- Maestro Dudamel
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

In a vicious debate raging throughout the classical and political worlds, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel has indeed faced significant criticism on social media for his appearance with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on a day where violence claimed three lives.

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Defending himself against the sharp e-tongues as of late, Dudamel said in a release last Thursday, "Our music is the universal language of peace and for that reason we regret yesterday's events."

The violence was an apparent response to critics against Maduro.

"With instruments in hand, we say no to violence and an overwhelming yes to peace," he continued.

Dudamel's performance in Maracay was the 39th anniversary of the El Sistema youth orchestra program founded by José Antonio Abreu. The ceremony also marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Victoria, which was a crucial moment in Venezuela's fight for independence.

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TagsGustavo Dudamel, Los Angeles Philharmonic, President Nicolas Maduro, El Sistema, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Veneuela

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