A new organisation called EMMA for Peace has been launched to support and promote music education and cultural dialogue across the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
EMMA for Peace, or the Euro Mediterranean Music Academy, is supported by UNESCO. And, according to its website, the organisation aims to create a network of music institutions ‘brought together in the shared interest of music and the promotion of peace in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions.’
The Italian conductor Riccardo Muti has been made honorary president of EMMA for Peace, and artists including cellist Gautier Capuçon, pianists Katia & Marielle Labèque and violinist Tasmin Little have all lent their support to the project.
'It is a great pleasure for me to be associated with EMMA for peace,' says Little. 'Music is one of the highest forms of communication, crossing the boundary of spoken language and transcending barriers of prejudice, racism, division and fear. It is universal, international, non-political and non-racial – it is the perfect way to unite us all as human beings, inspiring us towards the most worthy and noble aims.'
The organisation will officially launch this month at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Warsaw, 21-23 October.
Launch events will include a concert by the Polish Sinfonia luventus Orchestra conducted by John Axelrod, a piano recital from Elisso Bolkvadze and a workshop and conversation hosted by the editor of BBC Music Magazine, Oliver Condy.
EMMA for Peace has been founded by cultural entrepreneur Paolo Petrocelli, who has previously worked on the National Italian Commission for UNESCO and served as director of Italy’s version of Venezuela’s El Sistema project, the Cusani Foundation.
'I believe that music can be a positive force for change in our world. Music, education and culture can be the instrument of understanding, awareness and collaboration towards a peaceful future for all,' says Petrocelli.
'We want to make a positive impact on the lives of young peoples on the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. It's a great honour to share this ambitious journey with an extraordinary family of high-profile artists and our honorary president, Maestro Riccardo Muti. Together with them we will be doing our part for peace and dialogue between peoples and cultures.'
For more information, visit the EMMA for Peace website.