The Venice Symphony Names Dr. Nicolás Real as Youth Orchestra Music Director

Venice, FL – January 18, 2022 – The Venice Symphony has named Dr. Nicolás Real as Music Director of The Venice Symphony Youth Orchestra. Dr. Real is the principal flute of The Venice Symphony, a teacher, conductor, and composer. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance and Composition from Temple University, a Master’s Degree in Music from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the former University Institute of Musical Studies (IUDEM) in Venezuela.

Dr. Real began his career in The National Youth Orchestra and Choir System of Venezuela “El Sistema” as a flutist of The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and Flute Teacher at The Latin American Flute Academy. He taught at The University of Los Andes in Mérida, and The National University of the Arts in Caracas. Said Dr. Real, “As the Venezuelan “El Sistema” alumni, I had the blessing to grow my passion for orchestral music by learning the fundamentals of making music with my friends and enjoying the process since day one.”

Dr. Real assumes the leadership of the orchestra from founding director Donna Smith who formed the VSYO in 2018 and retired in December 2021. “Donna Smith’s commitment and dedication to the students never faltered, even when COVID-19 caused many arts organizations to stop their youth programming,” said Tim Ferguson, Director of Education for The Venice Symphony. “We are excited to have Nico bring that same energy and enthusiasm as we look to grow the VSYO from a string ensemble to a full symphony orchestra, adding brass, woodwinds and percussion and more opportunities for young musicians in our area.”

Dr. Real will lead The Venice Symphony Youth Orchestra’s more experienced student musicians and Nicole Rawley continues as director of the Concert Strings Ensemble for younger string students. Both ensembles rehearse weekly at Venice High School and perform in concerts and at community events.

“I feel very honored and committed to building the next chapter of the Venice Symphony Youth Orchestra program,” said Dr. Real. “Our goal is that every young musician in our community has the opportunity to perform a balanced and challenging symphonic repertoire with their peers and at their highest level of performance.”

As a performer, Dr. Real was a founding member of Miquirebo-Flute Quartet of Venezuela, the National Flute Orchestra of Venezuela, and The Real-Peña Duo. He has produced independent solo recordings and he has been part of other recording projects. Dr. Real is a former Associate Music Director/Conductor of the Guárico State Symphony Orchestra and the National Flute Orchestra in Venezuela. His compositions have been performed by the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, among others. Dr. Real is the Founder-Director of The Real Flute Studio and The Real Flute Choir.

The VSYO is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, a grant from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Venice-Nokomis Woman’s Club. Auditions are open for musicians age 8 and older, who play a stringed instrument and can read music. Scholarships are also available. For more information and to contact Dr. Real, email