World Orchestra for Peace to be designated UNESCO Artist for Peace
The World Orchestra for Peace, an exceptional ensemble of musicians representing more than 40 countries, will be designated as UNESCO Artist for Peace by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. The ceremony will take place at 11.30 am on 5 August in the Royal Albert Hall in London (United Kingdom). Later that day, Ms Bokova will also attend the BBC Proms concert celebrating the Orchestra’s 15th anniversary.
The World Orchestra for Peace “symbolizes so well the multi-cultural and ethnically diverse world that we live in today,” said Ms Bokova in her letter to the Orchestra announcing the designation. “Each member of your talented Orchestra represents the universal desire to spread cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace. This kind of message is central to UNESCO’s efforts to build durable peace in the world.”
“This orchestra embodies the ideals of the 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures,” declared the Director-General. “Made up of musicians from over 70 international orchestras, it comes together on special occasions to promote peace and celebrate reconstruction. It’s an extraordinary way to promote understanding and cooperation through an art that constitutes a universal language and knows no borders.”
The World Orchestra for Peace is conducted by Valery Gergiev (Russian Federation), himself designated as UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2003. It was founded in 1995 by the late Sir Georg Solti for a special concert in Geneva to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. Solti believed in “the unique strength of music as an ambassador for peace”.
UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities from the arts who use their influence and prestige to help promote UNESCO’s message and programmes and raise public awareness of the Organization’s action on key issues.
The World Orchestra for Peace joins a roster that already includes Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil, Canadian singer Celine Dion, Spanish dancer Joaquín Cortés, Cameroon musician Manu Dibango and Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid.