Announcing the appointment of Roberto Zambrano as Artistic Director of the DSO’s Young Musicians

Dallas, Texas (January 23, 2020) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced today the appointment of Roberto Zambrano to the position of Artistic Director of the Young Musicians program. In this role, he will develop the curriculum of the Young Musicians program and oversee the training of the program’s teaching artists and site leads. Zambrano will be a familiar face in the Young Musicians community as he interfaces with participants and their families, community members, neighborhood school administration and teachers, community artists, and community leaders. He will be on the ground with the Young Musicians to ensure a positive musical and social experience in the program.

Young Musicians was launched in June 2019 as part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Southern Dallas Initiative. The programs provides free instruments and free instruction to students in Dallas’s southern area through after-school and summer camp programs. Since its inception, Young Musicians has served over 400 students in grades 1 through 5 with the 2020 goal of 1,000 students in the program. The children receive instruction in their chosen instrument as well as in percussion/drum circle, music theory and chorus. As the program has progressed, the students have been provided opportunities for performance, such as at a DSO Annual Board Meeting and prior to a performance at the Meyerson. After-school programs are currently at Trinity Basin Preparatory (for all students), and Halliday Elementary, Kahn Elementary, Silberstein Elementary and Moreno Elementary (for DISD students). Information and registration for the program is available at

“We are thrilled to have Roberto join the DSO team and to have him develop this new signature program of the DSO’s Education Department,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. “He is one of the leaders in the El Sistema program, which develops the musical and social skills of young people. With his leadership, we know that the program will grow substantially and become a key program in Dallas.”

“As one of the founding members of El Sistema in my country, I have always had the commitment to extend this program outside of Venezuela. I see my new position as Artistic Director of the Dallas Symphony’s Young Musicians program as the next step towards fulfilling this commitment,” said Zambrano. “I visualize Young Musicians, not only as a musical program, but also as an opportunity to interact with the community, where family, neighbors and schools are all important. This kind of social synergy is one of the defining characteristics of El Sistema. It is truly something wonderful to achieve that level of social impact.”

Born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, in 1963, Roberto Zambrano belongs to the founding generation Venezuela’s national youth orchestra program, known as El Sistema. After several years as a cello section player and soloist in the nationally renowned Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, Zambrano traveled to the Czech Republic in 1989, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in music, with a focus in cello performance. He is the founder and advisor of numerous El Sistema programs and núcleos in cities throughout Latin America, North America and South America. In addition, he has founded youth orchestras in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Brazil. In 2009, he founded the Abreu Fellows program (a Teaching Artist Training named for El Sistema founder and visionary Jose Antonio Abreu) at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. For the last 20 years he has been the director of Youth Orchestras for the Venezuelan state of Portuguesa, where he organized an annual International Seminario in his home town of Acarigua-Araure, allowing the opportunity for hundreds of musicians from across the globe to have an immersive El Sistema experience. In 2019, Zambrano was honored at the El Sistema USA symposium in Detroit for his significant contributions to the growth of the El Sistema movement in the United States.

About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Designate Fabio Luisi, presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 243,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives annually. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming.

The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Arts and Culture, City of Dallas.