New UN orchestra to strike a chord for world peace

14 September 2007Dozens of young musicians representing many of the world’s regions and cultures will harmonize to form a new Orchestra for the United Nations, it was announced today. “The Orchestra is a unique project which will galvanize support for the UN through music and multimedia projects focused on the UN’s ideals, values and priorities,” Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyotaka Akasaka said.UN Volunteers (UNV) Executive Director Ad De Raad, the Director of the United in Music Foundation Geert Boogaard and Mr. Akasaka signed an agreement to launch the new orchestra, officially named “United in Music: The Orchestra for the United Nations.”When performing abroad, guest musicians from the countries being visited will perform with the Orchestra, which will not be a classical ensemble.“We often need a thousand words to get a simple message across and sometimes we only need one language: music,” said Mr. Boogaard, who conceived of the Orchestra and with the backing of the Dutch Government approached the UN. “I view music as a way to inspire people to embrace the ideals of the United Nations and to feel the need for voluntary action.”He has managed the 40-member Ricciotti Ensemble, and produced hundreds of their concerts in numerous unusual locations, ranging from the cathedral tower in Utrecht, the Netherlands, to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to war-torn Bosnia.Under today’s agreement, the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) will provide guidance on the UN’s goals, priorities, themes, observances and international events, while UNV will recruit professionally trained musicians of various nationalities.

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