Dudamel tour of US cancelled amid feud with Venezuela govt

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2017 file photo, maestro Gustavo Dudamel of Venezuela conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the traditional New Year's Concert at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a televised appearance Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, said the musical director had been deceived by Venezuela’s enemies into betraying the socialist government that had for years generously supported the world-famous El Sistema musical education program. Dudamel for years toured with El Sistema ensembles and even appeared alongside Maduro in 2014 amid a wave of anti-government unrest to survey plans for a concert hall to be built in his name. But he publicly broke with the government in May after a member of El Sistema was killed in another wave of protests. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

A four-city U.S. tour by classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel is being cancelled after President Nicolas Maduro lashed out at the Venezuela-born conductor for his criticism of the government's crackdown on protests

CARACAS, Venezuela — A four-city U.S. tour by classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel is being cancelled following President Nicolas Maduro's complaints about the Venezuela-born conductor's criticism of the government's crackdown on protests.

Dudamel's tour with the government-backed Venezuelan National Youth Orchestra was set to begin Sept. 9 near Washington before continuing to Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Dudamel on Twitter Monday called the cancellation "heartbreaking" and said he would continue "to fight for a better Venezuela."

Dudamel gave no reason for the cancellation, but Maduro last week blasted the Los Angeles Philharmonic's musical director, accusing him of being duped by Venezuela's enemies into criticizing the government that has for years been one of his biggest promoters.

Dudamel is scheduled to tour China with another government orchestra in October.

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