The International Music Council awarded this prestigious prize from 1975 until 2005, as of 1978 in cooperation with UNESCO. The Prize was given to musicians or musical institutions whose activity has contributed to the enrichment and development of music. It aimed to serve peace, understanding between peoples and international cooperation as well as other purposes proclaimed by the United Nations Charter and UNESCO's constitution.
Further to a change in UNESCO's policy with regard to prizes and awards in connection with UNESCO, the Executive Boards of both IMC and UNESCO decided to discontinue the prize in its current form. IMC is currently exploring alternatives.
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Some key information about the IMC - UNESCO International Music Prize:
The Prize was open in the following 5 categories:
- Composition: awarded to composers for their overall creative output
- Performance: awarded to individuals and ensembles in the field of popular, traditional, "classical" music or jazz, for their overall concert activities
- Musicology/music journalism: awarded to musicologists and music critics for the body of their research or criticism
- Music pedagogy; awarded to members of the teaching profession for their overall educational output
The Prize could also be awarded to public figures who have played a major role locally or internationally in more than one field of music, and to musical institutions for their activities in the service of music.
Nominations had to be submitted and endorsed by IMC members, UNESCO Permanent Delegations and UNESCO National Commissions; self-nomination was not possible. Every member, delegation and commission could propose 1 candidate per call for nominations.
The jury consisted of at least 5 members and was appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO on the recommendation of the IMC. The Director-General could designate a member of the Organisation's staff to sit on the jury.
There were usually 2 laureates, selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on recommendation of the jury. The Prize was awarded annually by the Director-General of UNESCO - or his representative - , the President of IMC, and the Lord Mayor of the City of Aachen to an individual or an institution.
Past laureates (1975 - 2004)
The Prize consisted of a diploma, a UNESCO Medal, and a monetary reward of 2500 EUR