January 16, 2018
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Argentine musicians bring joy to Bolivian hospitals, nursing homes

La Paz, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A group of Argentine musicians has come to Bolivia on a mission to give free concerts in hospitals and nursing homes, as a way of bringing peace and joy to people with little of either.

Their project is called "Music for the Soul" and aims to bring a little happiness to those going through a difficult time of illness and loneliness, one of the Argentine musicians, Jorge Bergero, told EFE on Tuesday.

Together with Bergero in the "Music for the Soul" project are his compatriots Emilio Astolfi, Laura Delogo, Carla Dipp and Miguel Dropo, who were joined in La Paz by Bolivians Raquel Urioste, Pedro Bustamante and Jose Luis Duarte.

The project took off in 2012 when Argentina's Maria Eugenia Rubio, a flute player at the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, was taken to hospital with cancer and her fellow artists gathered around to play music for her and the other patients at the Argentine capital's Health Foundation, Bergero said.

After the flutist's death, the musicians felt called to help other sufferers and decided to perform free concerts at hospitals and nursing homes both in Argentina and elsewhere.

The ensemble has now toured Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Ecuador, and for the first time is playing in Bolivia, where the artists are scheduled to offer recitals this week in the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

The places they chose to debut their project in the Andean country were the Children's Hospital and the San Ramon retirement home, both in La Paz.

At the retirement home, the Argentine and Bolivian musicians appeared Monday wearing white T-shirts printed with a heart, a treble clef and the initials of the project.

The recital of violins, violas, oboe and violoncello lasted some 40 minutes, with the ensemble performing such compositions as the Italian song "O Sole Mio" and the "Danza Bulgara."

After the concert, the elderly audience thanked the musicians for their visit with hugs and their warmest regards, and asked them to come back soon with the music that fills their hearts with joy.

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