IMC News

EMC: Coronavirus and the music sector

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The Coronavirus is spreading world-wide and the crisis is severely affecting public, cultural and social life. The European Music Council’s (EMC) thoughts are with all those who have suffered bereavement and sincerely hopes that anyone sadly affected by the virus gets well soon.

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SHIFT - Shared Initiatives for Training


The International Music Council is a partner of the Erasmus+ funded project SHIFT.

Climate change, gender equality and inclusion of minorities are key challenges for our rapidly changing world. Arts and culture have a recognised role in shaping societies and have the potential to significantly contribute to a better and more sustainable future for all as recognised in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project SHIFT will provide training initiatives for cultural leaders, working together and creating paths to face such global challenges. Implementing changes where needed and passing on the gained knowledge to leaders and staff members, of cultural networks and the broader cultural sector are key targets of the project.

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[email protected] Africa Songwriting Contest



A consortium of eight African, European and international partners joins forces with the European Union to create new opportunities and mobilise stakeholders to promote intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity in urban and peri-urban areas in Africa as drivers for social inclusion and sustainable human development.
Culture at Work Africa takes up the challenge raised by the African Union and its vision for 2063 for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.”
[email protected] Africa consortium now launches a contest to select a song that addresses the themes of intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity.


6 World Forum on Music: a warm thank you to all artists, speakers, curators & participants!

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The World Forum on Music Team would like to thank you very much for your participation and contribution to the 6th World Forum on Music in Paris. It has gone by so fast and we sincerely hope that your attendance was useful, productive and thought provoking.

Many of you have been active on Instragram, so if you wish to have a short recap, the hashtag is #FiveMusicRights. You will find some pictures of the Forum on the Facebook page of the International Music Council here.

Thanks to all who could make this conference happen.

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International Music Council elects Alfons Karabuda as new President

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On 28 September 2019, members of the International Music Council gathered in Paris for the organisation’s 38th General Assembly, elected a new leadership and adopted an ambitious work plan for the next two years. Alfons Karabuda (Sweden), composer and President of ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance) and SKAP (Swedish Association of Composers, Songwriters and Lyricists), was elected President.


IMC Music Rights Award: Laureate Announced! compress image 1



2019 Music Rights Award: Laureate Announced!

Paris, 17.06.2019


The International Music Council (IMC) is pleased to announce that the 2019 Music Rights Award is given to the Scoil Úna Naofa Violin & Orchestra Project from Dublin, Ireland.

The Music Rights Award recognizes a programme or project that supports in an exemplary way the Five Music Rights proclaimed by the IMC. This year’s edition takes on a special meaning as it is part of the worldwide celebrations of IMC’s 70th anniversary.

Scoil Úna Naofa Violin and Orchestra Project was initiated at Scoil Úna Naofa (Irish for St Agnes’ Primary School) in 2006. Before that time, no child in the school learned to play an instrument or knew any adults who played instruments. Since then, pupils and past pupils of the school have been given the opportunity to benefit from free instrumental tuition, music theory and participation in performing ensembles.

In less than fifteen years, the initial project has developed into three performing ensembles: Scoil Úna Naofa Orchestra (primary school), St Agnes Chamber Orchestra (secondary students, playing string orchestra original scores) and St Agnes Parents’ String Orchestra. An intergenerational summer camp brings everyone together for a week of music-making which is a highlight of the year.

Moreover, St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music & the Arts was formed in 2012 and provides a wide range of activities for the community, including a ‘Memory Lane’ choir for dementia patients and their careers.

Music and performance have brought musicians of all ages to places that they would never have visited, given them confidence, brought them friendship and a strong feeling of their own worth within a team.

Now, not only have over 1,000 children had the opportunity to learn musicianship, to play and instrument and to play in ensemble, but the programme has extended to the parents of the students and to the entire community, maintaining participation of ex-pupils through to their adulthood and including adults who have never learned music in the late-starter orchestra and in staged musical productions. Everyone is welcome and made welcome: from the smallest child to the most senior beginner. Within families, members of two and sometimes three generations are involved in learning and playing music together.

The wider community has access to many free concerts and activities during the year and to live theatre productions of great classics of musical theatre and pantomime in the heart of their own community.

The IMC Music Rights Award is a symbolic and active recognition of the effort that is brought by each actor involved in the nominated programmes. With this Award, IMC encourages its members and other organisations to give active support to the Five Music Rights:

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Scoil Úna Naofa Violin and Orchestra Project was nominated by the European Orchestra Federation, a long-time member of the IMC, and selected by a panel of experts chaired by Silvina Munich, Repertoires & Creators Relations Director at CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) who expressed her congratulations to the laureate with these words:

“I was familiar with projects at schools in disenfranchised urban and rural areas. Learning to play and listening to music let children dream of better futures. Music was the social elevator to lift them out to better days. I never heard of a project doing the same for adults (their parents in this case!). Simply playing music together fosters exchange among generations. It is brilliant and I am very proud to have played a tiny part in this. It involves everyone. Not just the school but the community. Aside from broadening a child's world, it gives them, without a doubt, an invaluable tool and bright spot for their future. This project demonstrates the transformational power of music and its impact in society. It is perfectly in line with the Five Music Rights proclaimed by IMC.”

The 2019 Music Rights Award is sponsored by BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts and will be presented during a special ceremony in the framework of the 6th IMC World Forum on Music (Paris, 28 September – 1 October 2019).


IMC Music Rights Award: Call for proposals

The International Music Council Music Rights Award is given biennially to a programme or a project that supports in an exemplary way one or more of the Five Music Rights enunciated by the Council. Apply Now!


Polar Music Prize 2019


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Paris, 13 February 2019



The International Music Council is both honoured and pleased to collaborate this year again with the Polar Music Prize organisation. The values promoted by the Polar Music Prize strongly echo with our own values that are embodied in the IMC Five Music Rights, which advocate for access to music education and musical participation as well as freedom of expression through music for every child and adult while defending the right of musical artists to be recognised as artists, to obtain fair remuneration for their work and to be given access to professional training, media and work facilities.

This year’s laureates of the Polar Music Prize embody our shared values in an exemplary way.

We are particularly happy to see the work of the Play for Music Foundation recognised today. This non-profit organisation provides music and arts education to unprivileged children around the world. It operates music programmes in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa, Morocco, Mexico, Argentina and Thailand.

Thanks to the Play for Music Foundation, music schools came into live in impoverished regions. It is important to note that these schools use local resources and local talent in their daily work. Every week, over 1,000 students enjoy the music lessons offered by the schools.

For many children benefitting from the programme, this has been a life-changing experience. Music has transformed their lives. What a wonderful demonstration of the power of music!

With this recognition, the Polar Music Prize acknowledges the tremendous work of the many other initiatives and projects that aim to transform the lives of underprivileged children by offering access to music and the arts.

The International Music Council is proud to accompany the Polar Music Prize organisation in this endeavour.

See the Polar Music Prize Laureates of 2019

[email protected] Africa! 2nd call launched


Culture at Work Africa has launched its Second Call for Proposals on 15 January 2019 to support innovative on-the-ground projects aiming at developing safe and neutral spaces for intercultural dialogue and to promote active citizenship and intercommunity relations.

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Le 15 janvier 2019 Culture at Work Afrique a lancé son Deuxième Appel à Propositions pour soutenir des projets novateurs visant à développer des espaces sûrs et neutres pour le dialogue interculturel et à promouvoir la citoyenneté active et les relations intercommunautaires.

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