IMC News

IMC joins the Arab Academy of Music in mourning Dr. Ratiba Al-Hefny

The International Music Council has learned with great sorrow about the death of the President of the Arab Academy of Music (League of Arab States), Dr. Ratiba Al-Hefny, on Monday 16 September 2013 following a lengthy illness. We publish below the obituary received from AAM Secretary General Kifah Fakhouri. 

Dr. Al-Hefny will be remembered as a pioneer in the contemporary musical movement of the Arab region. She presided the Arab Academy of Music (AAM) since 1997 and was the first female to hold this prestigious position. In 1993, she joined the Executive Board of the AAM as representative of Egypt and remained until her death.

Her musical career was full of action, creativity, and initiatives. Among the numerous positions she held was the post of Artistic Advisor to the President of Cairo Opera House and the Secretary General and Rapporteur of the annual Arab Music Conference and Festival which she established in 1992. In spite of her severe illness , she successfully organized the last Arab Music Conference and Festival, November 2012. In 1988, she was appointed as the first President of the new Cairo Opera House and stayed in this post until retirement. Before that, she was the Dean of the Egyptian Higher Institute of Arab Music and the Artistic President of the Egyptian Music and Opera House. She took as well a major role in the establishment of the Higher Institute of Musical Arts in Kuwait.

Music circles in Egypt and abroad knew Dr. Al-Hefny as the founder of the first children choir in Egypt . She also established Umm Kulthum Ensemble for Arab Music and Al-Hefny Centre for Musical Studies in memory of her father, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Hefny, the first Arab musicologist.

Furthermore, Dr. Ratiba Al-Hefny was known as a renowned soprano opera singer with a long list of opera appearances in Egypt and worldwide. As a first class media figure, Arab TV viewers knew her through her weekly TV program "With Arab Music" which ran non-top for 22 years.

Dr. Al-Hefny studied opera singing at Munich College of Music and Theatre and Choral Conducting and Vocal Pedagogy in Augsburg College . She completed her post graduate work in Folk Music at Humboldt University.

As an author and music researcher, she left behind quite a number of notable publications.

Few years ago, Egypt honored her by giving her the State Award.

Surely, her death will be a great loss to all those who knew her.

Dr. Kifah Fakhouri
General Secretary
Arab Academy of Music

Symposium de musique africaine au FESPAM 2013

Il s'est tenu à Brazzaville du 15 au 18 juillet 2013, au Palais des Congrès, dans le cadre de la IXe édition du Festival Panafricain de Musique, le Symposium de Musique Africaine sur le thème : « Les musiques africaines, vecteur d'authenticité et facteur d'émergence. » Lire le communiqué final ici.

IMC launches International Music Fellow programme


Paris, 15 February 2013. - The International Music Council (IMC) is pleased to announce the establishment of a new recognition programme: the International Music Fellow.  This programme is designed to honour deserving individuals whilst at the same time supporting the efforts of the International Music Council through a donation. Candidates may be nominated by any individual, group of individuals, organisation, NGO, public authority or private company, which contribute €1,000 or more to the IMC in the name of their candidate.

Guidelines for nomination as well as the nomination form are available on the IMC website. The form requests biographical information as well as a statement regarding the nominee’s commitment to the IMC’s Five Musical Rights. Nominations will be reviewed by the IMC Directorate in consultation with IMC Regional Music Councils. Once a positive decision has been reached, the nominees will be notified of the honour conferred upon them by the donor(s) and the IMC.

New International Music Fellows will be recognized at the IMC World Forum on Music, which is held biennially at different locations around the world. On this occasion, Fellows will receive an International Music Fellow certificate and an honorary pin. As part of a distinctive society within the IMC, International Music Fellows will also be prominently recognized on the IMC website. The name of each Fellow will be inscribed on a commemorative plaque located at the IMC Headquarters in Paris.

Nominations for recognition at the 5th World Forum on Music in Brisbane (21-24 November 2013) should be received on or before 15th August 2013.

“The IMC International Music Fellow programme provides a meaningful way to honour significant individuals and at the same time support the important work of the International Music Council itself.  All of us have been enriched over the years by extraordinary persons who should be recognized for the impact they have made.  I hope that especially our member organisations and their members will take advantage of this unique opportunity to honour them and to sustain the mission of the IMC”, underlines Frans de Ruiter, IMC President.


IMC launches Global Friends initiative


Do you enjoy musical diversity? 

Do you believe that music education should be available for everybody? 

Do you feel that music should play an important role in a country's development?


IMC welcomes two new National Music Councils

Paris - During its last meeting in Puerto Rico, the IMC Executive Board has decided to admit the Music Council of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CO.NA.MU.) and the Music Council of Ivory Coast (CONSIM) as IMC's National Music Councils.

These two organisations will join the other 45 National Music Councils which represents IMC and its 5 Music Rights around the globe.

In the admission letter addressed to the two councils, the president of the IMC, Frans de Ruiter, expresses satisfaction and hope for this new collaboration.

The presence of the IMC in Africa, coordinated by the regional group African Music Council, is of strategic significance in the development of partnerships and projects that support music and musicians of the continent.



Culture 4th Pillar of Sustainable Development. China in a seductive mode

Hangzhou, 200km south of Shanghai, was host from May 14-17 to the first major international conference on culture and sustainable development since the Stockholm Conference in 1998 "The power of Culture" that led to the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001 and to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2005 that Canada and Quebec had so strongly yearned-for.


UN underlines the role of culture in development


Last week, on 12 June, at the United Nations in New York, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr Ban Ki-moon, made these important statements about the role of culture in development.


The European Music Council calls on the Turkish government to respect the right of freedom of expression and to respect the right to peaceful assembly

The initial protests for the protection of a public space in central Istanbul, Gezi Park, have spread throughout the country and now grown, addressing a number of issues such as the need for more democracy and respect for the voice of civil society.


IMC at UNESCO congress on culture and development

May 15-17, IMC President Frans de Ruiter, attended the International Congress 'Culture: Key to Sustainable Development' in Hangzhou, China.

The congress was organised by UNESCO with the support of the Government of the People's Republic of China and Hangzhou Municipal Government. This was the first International Congress specifically focusing on the linkages between culture and sustainable development organized by UNESCO since the Stockholm Conference in 1998. As such, the Congress provided the very first global forum to discuss the role of culture in sustainable development in view of the post-2015 development framework, with participation of the global community and the major international stakeholders.

For more details see the Congress website.

The Congress examined the multifaceted role of culture in achieving sustainable development goals and aimed to influence the inclusion of culture in the post-2015 global development framework.

The Hangzhou Declaration: Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies is a key outcome of the conference. The Declaration is now available from UNESCO's website.

Calling for a new approach toward sustainable development, the 'Hangzhou Declaration' advocates for placing culture at the heart of public policy. The Declaration urges governments, civil society and the private sector to harness the power of culture in addressing the world's most pressing developmental challenges, such as environmental sustainability, poverty, and social inclusion.

Some key networks participating in the Congress advocated for the inclusion in the Declaration of a recommendation that there be a specific goal for culture in the future UN development agenda. The final words of the Declaration are as follows:

"...We, the participants, share in the ideals of "Diversity in Harmony" and "Harnessing the Past to Create the Future" expressed by our Congress; We commit ourselves to developing action plans based on this Declaration and to working together for their implementation towards 2015 and beyond; We believe that the integration of culture into development policies and programmes will set the stage for a new era of global development;

We recommend, therefore, that a specific Goal focused on culture be included as part of the post-2015 UN development agenda, to be based on heritage, diversity, creativity and the transmission of knowledge and including clear targets and indicators that relate culture to all dimensions of sustainable development."

At the same time, IMC advocated successfully for the inclusion of education in the text of the Declaration.

To download the Declaration, please click here.

Share |

Additional information

This website uses Google Analytics. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. Read More