International and US National Music Councils to webcast landmark, joint symposium on political violence against music creators and performers


February 20, 2023

The International Music Council (IMC), in collaboration with the National Music Council of the United States (NMC), is proud to announce the premiere on March 3, 2023 at 3 pm CET / 9 am EST of a landmark Symposium addressing the recent spike in political violence against songwriters, composers and music performers throughout the world. The webcast, which will be available to viewers at, represents a key component of the global March 3rd Music Freedom Day observances. Details concerning subsequent access to materials will be available on the site.

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The program will feature discussions and interviews with many of the world’s leading experts and activists on free speech issues as they pertain to the music and music education communities. Panel topics will include Movements to Protect Free Speech in Music; Trends in Politically-based Censorship of the Musical Arts, and; The History of Music’s Political Influence and of Governmental Attempts to Harness, Control and Silence It. The Symposium’s website will also feature a first-of-its-kind article compiled by NMC chair Charles J. Sanders --entitled “Music, Politics and History”-- which traces the global timeline of music suppression and includes dozens of links to musical examples and accounts of incidents.

IMC president Alfons Karabuda underlines that “we have seen in recent months and years the murder, displacement and economic sanctioning of composers, conductors, musicians and other members of our international community in various places across the globe.  Our fellow music creators and artists who find themselves in these disastrous political crossfires are urgently in need of our help.  We are exquisitely sensitive to the diplomatic nuances required to avoid exacerbating the dangers they face, and will exercise sound judgement in consultation with the victims in each case.   History, however, teaches that silence is neither an acceptable nor effective strategy.”

Underscoring the importance of the Symposium for their own organization’s action, NMC chair Charles J. Sanders and NMC president James Weaver add in a joint statement that “we believe this to be the first international, music community-sponsored forum ever held outside of Europe to address this crucial topic, and NMC is proud to have joined with its IMC colleagues in bringing it to fruition.  The ability in the US and Canada to speak out on such issues, principally without fear of government reprisal, places on us a special responsibility to shine a brighter light on these escalating injustices and attacks. Music creators and performers have always been vulnerable targets for coercion and repression.  Our community’s responsibilities are to ensure that such anti-democratic activities not remain hidden in the shadows, no matter where in the world they occur—including within our own borders.”


The International Music Council

IMC is the world's largest network of music organizations and institutions, founded by UNESCO and dedicated to the advancement of essential music rights for all people.
We stand for a world where everyone can enjoy access to music, where they can learn, experience, create, perform, and express themselves through music, and in which artists of every kind are recognized and fairly remunerated.
IMC brings together people, ideas and actions under the umbrella of the Five Music Rights.

We raise awareness and encourage members and others by
 Advocating the Five Music Rights across society and to decision-makers in arts education, policy, and industry
 Bringing together the expertise of music organisations and institutions supporting the Five Music Rights
 Enabling and implementing initiatives advancing the Five Music Rights

The National Music Council of the United States

The National Music Council of the United States is celebrating its 82nd year as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 with the imprimatur of Congress to strengthen the importance of music in American lives and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has now grown to almost 50 of the nation’s most prominent national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity. Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in America’s schools, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council likewise provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations, and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable.





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