This statement is made in response to an online article published last week by the Guatemalan publication Nomada, bringing to light allegations of historic serious misconduct in Guatemala and Italy, including sexual abuse of young women, by one of the co-founders of the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra. We note that these allegations have not yet, so far as we know, been investigated by the appropriate authorities, and as such they may be untrue.

The trustees and CEO of The Nucleo Project are deeply shocked and concerned by the grave allegations against this individual. The Nucleo Project extends its support for anyone who may have been a victim of abuse, and praises the courage of those who have come forward.

The Nucleo Project has never employed or contracted the individual in question or invited him to any of our events. The Nucleo Project did participate in Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra camps in Istanbul (2014), Milan (2015) and Athens (2017) where eleven of our young people came into contact with this person.

Our students were closely supervised by Nucleo Project staff and chaperones during these camps, in accordance with our policies, and we have no reason to believe that any of them was harmed in any way. We are currently engaging with the students in question and their families on this matter to ensure that any concerns they may have are heard and addressed, in keeping with the advice of our local authority’s social services department.

The welfare of our students is central to the work of The Nucleo Project. We consider that we have a robust safeguarding policy and procedure that is regularly reviewed and updated. We place the utmost importance on our responsibility to the young people under our care, during residential trips and at all other times.

These allegations highlight the need for all organisations such as The Nucleo Project that work in the ‘music for social action’ to vigorously review vetting and safeguarding policies and procedures, to ensure that these are thoroughly fit for purpose and are proactively communicated and absorbed through training.

We stand with the many like-minded leaders of music for social action projects that prioritise the safety and well-being of all participants at the highest level. We are ready to collaborate and support our colleagues in the field to enhance practices and ensure that all participants are safe on our projects, which seek to empower and inspire young people through music.