UN Chamber Music Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council
UN Chamber Music Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council

UN Chamber Music Society Music Therapy Concert

The Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 2 May 2022
Photo credit: Andrey Nastasenko

 

H.E. Mrs. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations

Delivered by Ms. Nasra Alrahma, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of Arabic Language Day
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 18 December 2023

 

Good evening everyone,

السلام عليكم

 

It is my pleasure to be here tonight to celebrate Arabic Language Day. I want to welcome all of you to what promises to be an exceptional evening of music and culture.

 

Many of us here are used to communicating through the language of diplomacy, but today we are celebrating a universal language – music - and the common language of many of us, Arabic - العربية. Or as we call it: the language of " الضاد", because it’s the only language in the world that has the sound  "ض" and this is just one example of the uniqueness of this beautiful language.

 

Arabic is one of the oldest languages in the world, and the official language of 26 countries. More than 400 million people call Arabic their mother tongue.

 

In fact, the Arabic language and music are strongly connected. Arabic mainly began to develop through a rich poetic tradition.

 

The ‘Qasida’ or ‘ode’, would be recited at festivals, just like this one, and came to be known as ‘diwan al-Arab’, or ‘the register of the Arabs’, and become a way of preserving an evolving sense of communal identity and history.

 

From these origins, we see that language is about more than just words.

 

This reminds me of a quote in Arabic.

 

ستعيش حياة جديدة لكل لغة جديدة تتكلمها. إذا كنت تعرف لغةً واحدة فقط، كأنك تعيش مرةً واحدة فقط.

 

“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.”

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Today is also a celebration of global languages at a moment when the world needs new ways to communicate and understand one another, now more than ever.

 

Let me thank the UN Chamber Music Society for organizing today’s concert, and the Abu Dhabi Festival and Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation for supporting it.

 

شكراً جزيلاً

 

Enjoy the show.

Message by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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Harmony Unites: UN Chamber Music Society Virtual Concert for Peace in the Middle East
In support of the relief efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

26 October 2023

 

Dear friends and colleagues,

 

We live in turbulent times. Conflicts, wars, humanitarian crises, and rising inequalities have been unfolding in front of our eyes against the backdrop of the climate emergency.

 

And now, we face an unprecedented crisis in the Middle East.

 

Too many lives - and the fate of the entire region – hang in the balance.

 

The situation becomes more dire by the hour – with casualties mounting and suffering prolonged.

 

The UN Secretary General has condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror and hostage-taking by Hamas in Israel. And he has also said that those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

 

UNRWA staff, together with other UN teams in the region, are working tirelessly around the clock, to advocate for peace and provide assistance, among the most challenging and dangerous conditions.

 

Among those killed over the last two weeks are dozens of UNRWA colleagues. I am devastated by the loss, and I honor them.

 

As the fog of war threatens to cloud our hearts and minds, let’s not forget that civilians and humanitarian aid workers must never become a target.

 

This virtual concert, organized by the UN Chamber Music Society, is an important moment for us to take the time to reflect on this basic truth and the nightmarish events taking place in the Middle East.

 

Thank you.

Message by Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

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Virtual Concert for Peace in the Middle East
In support of the relief efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
26 October 2023

 

Dear colleagues and friends,

 

The past two weeks have been among the darkest in the history of UNRWA and the region. As the devastating loss of life and widespread destruction continues unabated, my UNRWA colleagues and I draw great strength from the solidarity shown by our UN family. The Harmony Unites concert by the United Nations Chamber Music Society is an example of that solidarity. It is heartening to see the UN community and our friends and supporters across the world come together to uphold our common values and humanity through music.

I am grateful to you for choosing to respond to despair and destruction with generosity and creativity. It reminds us of the extraordinary potential of every human life that has been so tragically lost. I would like to pay tribute here to my 35 colleagues who have been killed in the past weeks – their deaths grieve us profoundly.

 

I would like to thank you for supporting the tireless efforts of UNRWA to protect and support Palestine refugees, and in times of grave crisis - all civilians. Your support will help us to reach more people in need and provide them with lifesaving assistance. 

 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Message by Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of World Refugee Day

20 June 2023
 

Dear friends,

 

Thank you to United Nations Chamber Music Society for again choosing to mark World Refugee Day with such a concert. It means so much to me personally that you all help UNHCR, and even more so that you lend your time, your voice, your talents to support refugees, wherever they are.

 

Today there are more than 108 million displaced people around the world. Often vulnerable, they have been forced from their homes by violence, conflict, persecution and discrimination.

 

As humanitarians, we must always, of course, focus on getting them all the basic support they require – shelter, food, water, health care and education.

 

But far too often, other aspects of what might help them heal are neglected:

mental health support certainly, but also access to sports, to arts, to culture.

 

And to music.

 

Thank you very much to our musicians, including the refugees, for their contribution to helping and healing.

 

And my thanks also to all the United Nations and NGO staff, and all of you, for coming together in solidarity with refugees not just today, but every day. 

Message by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of World Refugee Day

20 June 2023

 

Hello colleagues, friends and everyone from around the world.

 

Today is World Refugee Day, which is marked around the world every year on the 20th of June.

 

It is a Day to salute the strength and resilience of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.

 

Protecting the rights of refugees is a cause dear to my heart. I have spent a decade working for the UN’s Refugee Agency, UNHCR to build empathy for the plight and continue to advocate for refugees as part of my work leading communications for the UN.

 

The stories I have heard, the experiences and courage I have witnessed continue to inspire me every day to support refugees in their efforts to rebuild their life.

 

Refugees, just like all of us, are human beings that should be treated with dignity, welcomed and protected.

 

Some of the musicians that will play today are also refugees – and that makes today’s virtual concert even more special.

 

Music is our universal language. It holds the power to move hearts and to inspire minds. It connects people and tells our stories.

 

So through the music that we will hear today, I hope that you will remember the plight of refugees with a sense of solidarity.

 

I thank the UN Chamber Music Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council for organizing this concert to celebrate World Refugee Day.

 

Let the beautiful melodies inpire us to stand with refugees. Thank you.

Message by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert for the Victims of the Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria of the Holocaust

15 March 2023

 

Dear colleagues and friends,

 

One of the biggest natural disasters of our time just unfolded in front of our eyes – resulting in a crisis of colossal proportion.

 

The earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria have caused extensive loss of life. There have been more than 9,000 aftershocks.

 

As of the end of February, over 48,000 people have been killed and more have been injured in the two countries.

 

More than 150,000 buildings including schools and hospitals have collapsed or damaged.

 

Millions of people are directly affected, while tens of thousands of people are suffering from horrific trauma and exposed to unforgiving winter conditions.

 

We have not yet seen the full extent of the damage. Numbers are still expected to rise as recovery efforts are continuing.

 

Hearing those overwhelming numbers can be excruciating. Behind those numbers are countless hearth wrenching stories of human loss, suffering, but also of near miraculous survival.

 

Disasters impact everyone, women, men, children, the elderly, however vulnerable people are hit the hardest, compounding the suffering of those are already affected by conflict, people on the move and other marginalized groups.

 

The United Nations and its agencies continue to be on the frontlines to provide help and assistance, now and in the long term.

 

UN staff on the ground and at Headquarters mobilize emergency teams and set up complex relief operations in both Syria and Türkiye. We are assisting with search and rescue teams; providing emergency relief, food, medical supplies, thermal blankets and other life-saving items.

 

In the darkest time, in our lowest moments, we can turn to music to soothe the soul and find solace. Music connects us with others’ experience and propels compassion.

 

Today’s concert is an opportunity to reflect and to show our solidarity and support to the people of Türkiye and Syria in the face of unprecedented tragedy.

 

I would like to recognize the United Nations Chamber Music Society for organizing this concert and for shining a light on how music can illuminate hope during difficult times.

 

Thank you.

Message by Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy

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UN Chamber Music Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council

Concert in celebration of the 77th Anniversary of the United Nations
Monday, 24 October 2022


Hello, I’m Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. It's my pleasure to be able to send you my best wishes on the celebration of the UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of the 77th Anniversary of the United Nations.
 

Music transcends boundaries and barriers. It brings people together, oftentimes providing the common language needed for understanding and peace. 


On behalf of our 24,000 members, and the entire music community we exist to serve, the Recording Academy thanks you for your efforts to bring peace and humanitarian assistance to the many parts of the world where it is so desperately needed.


And congratulations on celebrating your 77th Anniversary!

 

Message by H.E. Ms. Mathu Joyini, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations

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UN Chamber Music Society of the UN Staff Recreation Council

Virtual Concert in celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day

18 July 2022

 

Programme Facilitator,
H.E. Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
,
Ms Mellissa Fleming, Under Secretary-General for the UN Global Communications,
Ms. Brenda Vongova, President of the United Nations Chamber Music Society,
Distinguished Guests and Featuring Artists,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I am truly honoured to once again deliver the welcome remarks for the Concert in celebration of the 2022 edition of the International Nelson Mandela Day ably organized by the United Nations Chamber Music Society. 

One of the most prolific music composers to have ever lived, Mozart once remarked that “If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony.”

Being the musical genius that he was, Mozart understood the vital importance that harmony plays towards ensuring that individual musical voices group together resulting in a coordinated quality musical product. 

It is our view that harmony can play an equally important role in ensuring that the international community acts with the same purpose of an orchestra in confronting common global challenges such as the rise in poverty and inequality, escalating intolerance and racial discrimination, the climate crisis, energy and food insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic, new and ongoing conflicts, and the ungoverned development of new technologies, amongst others.

Nelson Mandela whose great life and contributions we are celebrating today, understood that collective effort is a vital factor in any struggle against gigantic challenges such as apartheid during his time. Central in forging the collective spirit, is the recognition that we are people because of other people, as envisaged in the African philosophy of Ubuntu. 

It thus follows that in order to have harmony within the international community, the people of the world should treat themselves as members of the same group, including seeing other people’s struggle as their own.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, we take this opportunity to once again express our sincere gratitude to the organizers of this august concert and have no doubt that it will do justice to the memory of our beloved President Nelson Mandela, who once said he was most at peace when he listened and danced to music. 

I wish this event all the success and thank you for your kind attention. 

Message by Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy

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UN Chamber Music Society
Concert for Peace for Ukraine

31 March 2022

 

Hello, my name is Harvey Mason, CEO of the Recording Academy.  Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to address this incredible group.  I’m so honored to be with you and I’m grateful for the work you do to promote peace around the world.  Thank you for the humanitarian efforts you are making today in Ukraine.  


We need that same kind of commitment today from the world’s leading powers and international bodies like the United Nations, the birthplace of the UN Chamber Music Society.  


Music crosses boundaries and barriers. It brings people together, oftentimes providing the common language needed for understanding and peace.  


On behalf of our 24,000 members, and the entire music community we exist to serve, the Recording Academy thanks you for your efforts to bring peace and humanitarian assistance to the many parts of the world where it is so desperately needed. 
 

Thank you all so much. 

Message by Amin Awad, United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert for Peace for Ukraine

31 March 2022

 

I would like to welcome you to this special UN Chamber Music Society Concert dedicated to the country of Ukraine, to the tragedy that is going on there, to the humanitarian effort, and also the effort for peace.

 

The United Nations agencies, along with the national societies, international NGOs, and national NGOs have provided a lot of support in different parts of Ukraine – to the people who are displaced by this war.  I urge those who are watching this concert and turning in to also support the efforts of the national Ukrainian agencies, the United Nations offices, and international NGOs who continue to play a vital role in the humanitarian response in the country.

For those who are turning in to this concert, I would like to encourage you to support these agencies that are working at the front lines of Ukraine, until peace is found, during this very difficult time.

Message by Brenda Vongova, President of the UN Chamber Music Society

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert for Peace for Ukraine

31 March 2022

 

Thank you for joining us for today’s concert, in support of Ukraine. 

The world needs peace now.  Peace for the people of Ukraine. 

I would like to thank Mr Amin Awad, the United Nations Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine – for lending his voice to this fundraising effort.  I would also like to thank Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, for his wonderful support to this concert.


76 years ago, amid the ruins of the second world war, the world’s nations united to proclaim that enough was enough. The Charter of the United Nations, which all member states agreed to, enshrined a universal agreement to respect all countries’ territorial integrity, and “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”

Since then, the UN has worked to build peace, and, when war breaks out, to provide assistance and protection to millions of civilians. Donating to OCHA’s Ukraine Humanitarian Fund will help the UN address t
he deteriorating humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine, and support the unprecedented number of internally displaced persons and refugees in need of assistance - particularly women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups
 

As the UN Secretary-General calls – to “give peace another chance,” we must not underestimate the power of culture to heal, and rebuild.  I hope that you will enjoy our “Concert for Peace for Ukraine.”

Message by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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UN Chamber Music Society of the UN Staff Recreation Council

Virtual Concert on Occasion of the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Thursday, 27 January 2022


 

Dear friends and colleagues from around the world,

 

Good evening and welcome to this special concert marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

 

I am honored that the United Nations Chamber Music Society has asked me to speak to you.

 

This year the UN has chosen the theme of “memory, justice, and dignity” for our Holocaust remembrance and education programmes.

 

Tonight’s concert speaks to that theme. Through music we have an opportunity to remember the victims of the Holocaust and what they endured, but also the richness of their lives before the advent of Nazism.

 

The music also serves as a reminder of our responsibilities today to do all we can to build a world in which the atrocities of the Holocaust do not happen again.

 

If the phrase “Never again” is to mean anything, then we must vigorously confront antisemitism and distortions of history -- wherever and whenever we find them.

 

We must tackle racism and prejudice at the root and commit to celebrating the worth and dignity of every member of the human family.

 

My thanks to the UN Chamber Music Society. I hope everyone tuning in tonight will enjoy this special concert. Thank you.

Message by H.E. Mr. Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, Chair of the Arab Group for the month of December 2021

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of Arabic Language Day
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 17 December 2021

 

 

Excellencies

Ladies and gentlemen,

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته, and good evening,

 

Tonight, is a special night for all the speakers, lovers, learners, and friends of one of the most beautifully written and spoken languages in the world, a language that is distinguished by its richness of meanings as well as expressive and discreet descriptions. Tonight 48 years ago, the United Nations Member States finalized the draft of the resolution number three thousand, one hundred ninety to be considered and adopted at the General Assembly on the very next day, the eighteenth of December 1973, a resolution that recognized this language as the sixth official language of the United Nations. Tonight, we are gathered to celebrate the World Arabic Language Day.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,


The Arabic language was honoured by writing the words of God, in the Holly Qur'an, where God said in His holy Book, "We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an". The Arabic language was also used to write, document, and convey through time various and most significant sciences in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and sociology, those sciences that contributed to the development of humanity, not to mention literary letters and rich poetic heritage in describing love, peace, sadness, lamentation, praise, and satire.


Dear friends,


The Arabic language belongs to the Semitic languages family and is spoken by more than four hundred million people in the world of different religions and nationalities. It is the language of worship for more than a billion Muslims in the world, and here I want to highlight the role and importance of this language in promoting the values of tolerance, peace and respect within and among religions and civilizations, to better understand each other and build a prospers future for all.


The Arabic language is heard in multiple dialects, and each one of them is distinguished by a special luster that pleases the listener and demonstrates the ability of this language to develop and adapt to different peoples and the capabilities of their speakers.


Among the most famous names of the Arabic language is the language of Al-Dhad, one of the Arabic alphabet letters, which is characterized by a unique pronunciation that is unmatched in the rest of the world's languages.


Ladies and gentlemen,


On this glorious day, I can only conclude this message with a line of a poem by the Prince of Poets Ahmed Shawqi, who said, in describing the beauty of the Arabic language: God who filled languages with charms * summed up al beauties and confined them in Al-Dhadi.
 

Lastly, as one of the sons of the Arabic language, I'm glad and honored to share these festive moments with you and wish to express my overwhelming joy in addressing you. Furthermore, I would like to, especially, thank the distinguished members of the United Nations Chamber Music Society, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, and Abu Dhabi Festival for their efforts and dedication in organizing this event.

 

Thank you for your kind attention, Happy World Arabic Language Day, and I wish you all, dear ones, grace and health.

Message by H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo
Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation
Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of Arabic Language Day

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 17 December 2021

 

Al Salam Alaikum.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Esteemed guests,

My name is Huda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, and I’m pleased to join you from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.  At the outset, may I share with you my warmest season greetings for the forthcoming holidays. 

I also take this opportunity to thank the UN Chamber Music Society and to everyone who made this performance possible.  Today, we celebrate together the Arabic language on its international day as the pearl of our civilization.  For thousands of years, it has been a language of broad creativity and ingenuity.

 

As the late Egyptian poet Hafiz Ibrahim wrote, “It is an ocean in which great treasures dwell”.  With its wealth of possibilities for expression, its flowing artistic letters and its variety of forms, Arabic is the foundation of our identity, our values, and our culture.  Let us preserve all the languages of the world and pass them on to future generations, freely expressing our shared heritage in a modern context. 

Let us celebrate words through music, the marvelous soul of the universe, the source of joy and the heartbeat of life.

I leave you the words of Gibran: “Give me the flute, and sing, immortality lies in a song, and even after we’ve perished, the flute continues to lament.”

 

Message by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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UN Chamber Music Society Virtual Concert in Observance of the
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2021

 

Colleagues, friends,

 

Welcome to this special concert in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

 

My sincere appreciation to the United Nations Chamber Music Society for putting this concert together -- and for demonstrating how music can illuminate an important issue.

 

Violence against women and girls knows no demographic limits – it crosses every social class, ethnic group and national border.

 

The numbers are beyond heartbreaking. Around the world, nearly 1 in 3 women have been subjected to physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetimes.

 

And we have seen that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of gender-based violence have only worsened.

 

But there is also hope. In recent years, survivors and activists are increasingly raising their voices against this scourge. Their words are piercing the silence and upending the complacency.

 

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres has urged all governments to make tackling violence against women a key part of their pandemic response plans.

 

Each and every one of us has a role to play too: to join together to demand accountability and take concrete measures to protect women and girls worldwide.

 

Let this concert be a reminder of the strength of women and girls. Let it be a moment to reaffirm our commitment to helping to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence.

 

Music helps us to reflect and heal. It uplifts, brings us together and gives us a sense of solidarity and inspiration – values needed now more than ever. 

 

Thank you. I wish everyone an enjoyable concert.      

Remarks by Ndaba Mandela, Founder & Chairman of Mandela Institute for Humanity

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day
6 June 2021

 

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My name Ndaba Mandela, the Chair of the Mandela Institute for Humanity.

For the past, almost two years, we as humanity have been fighting the Covid-19 virus.  This virus has left a devastating mark on our humanity, and even the Mandela family was not left unscathed.  Last year, we lost our great aunt – Aunt Zindzi (Mandela), and other family members.

Let us not forget that even during these times we fight this resilient and invisible enemy, that we have a responsibility to look after those who are less privileged than ourselves.

Nelson Mandela taught us the importance of giving back to our community.  Statues of Madiba was not what he had wanted.  Idealizing Mandela is not the way to go. 

Let us remember his words, when he said, “To be free is not to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  The United Nations has partnered with us, together with many others of you, to make sure that gave a message and remind each other of our common shared humanity.

Message by H.E. Ms. Mathu Joyini, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day

18 July 2021

 

 

Programme Facilitator,

H.E. Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General,

Ms Mellissa Fleming, Under Secretary-General for the UN Global Communications,

Mr Ndaba Mandela, Founder and Chairman of the Mandela Institute for Humanity,

Ms Brenda Vongova, President of the United Nations Chamber Music Society,

Distinguished Guests and Featuring Artists,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It gives me great pleasure to deliver this message of welcome on the occasion of the Virtual Concert in celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day.
 

The concert takes place at a time when the international community of nations is engaged in a titanic battle to combat contemporary global existential threats to humanity.  These include the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, rising poverty and inequality, racism and discrimination amongst other challenges.

 

It is my view that in a climate of despair, the arts and music in particular, can play a fundamental role in instilling a climate of hope, comfort, inspiration and unity. Afterall music is a universal language which we can all relate to despite our diverse origins, be it the symphonies of Beethoven and Mozart; the freedom songs of Miriam Makeba and Bob Marley; and the popular music of Beyonce, Rihanna and Dibanj amongst others.
 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
 

Music can reach the inner depths of the human spirit and soul in unparalleled ways. It is for this reason that there is song for both moments of joy and sadness.


Our global icon whom this event is commemorating recognized the value of this distinct characteristic of music, particularly as it related to the role that music played in inspiring him and his fellow freedom fighters during their incarceration.


In a speech delivered during his visit to the Capital of classical music, Vienna, Austria, in October 2003, former President Mandela had occasion to remark that (and I quote):
 

“We have spent many years of our life in the isolation of a prison island. I suppose it is difficult for others to imagine just how much solace we drew in those years from the knowledge and remembrance of the great works of music that emanated from this city. Its resonance kept on reminding us of the ultimate unity of the human soul and the indestructibility of the human spirit.”

 

In conclusion, we are further pleased that when the organizers of this concert assembled their coterie of talented artists who will perform on this auspicious occasion, they did so guided by the ideals and principles which Nelson Mandela fought for throughout his life, namely those of inclusion and diversity. May these continue to inspire us for many years to come!


I wish this event all the success. I thank you for your attention. 

UN Chamber Music Society announces THE 2nd annual
UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day 2021

PRESS RELEASE - 6 July 2021
UNCMS Mandela Day 2021_Press Release.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [263.4 KB]

Message by Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of World Refugee Day 2021

20 June 2021
 

Music has a special place in every country, nation and society around the world. It moves and inspires us. It brings back old memories and helps us forge new ones.  Music can even help heal the invisible wounds of trauma and suffering.

 

It is therefore an especially important outlet for the more than 80 million people around the world who have been forced from their homes; their families; and their friends.

 

Whether musicians or audience members, music can help the displaced connect with their countries and places of origin, even while in exile, and equally build ties with their host communities in places where they have sought safety and refuge.

 

The power of music thus lies not just in the notes on a page, but in how it brings people together, something so needed in a world that is increasingly divided.


Friends,

 

Today is World Refugee Day – the day when we celebrate refugees and their fortitude and renew our commitment to protect, assist and find solutions to their plight.  I can think of few ways to better symbolize our solidarity with them than through a musical tribute.

 

I am therefore deeply grateful that the United Nations Chamber Music Society has chosen to honour them again this year with this concert and hope to be able to celebrate with you again, in person, in the near future.

 

Thank you.

Message by Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Celebration of World Refugee Day 2021

20 June 2021
 

 

Dear colleagues and friends from around the world,

 

I am honored to greet you today for this special event in honor of World Refugee Day.

 

This is a cause very close to my heart. And today, through the power of music, I am delighted that we will have an opportunity today to celebrate refugees and to laud their resilience, strength and courage.

 

This year’s theme for World Refugees Day – “Together we heal, learn and shine” -- focuses on the power of inclusion. And the shared experience of the COVID-19 pandemic shows us that we will only succeed when we stand together and support each other.

 

The past year has been tough for each and every one of us. But it has been especially challenging for those who were already forced to flee from war, violence, persecution or natural disaster.

 

Many refugees have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic. They are frequently excluded from social and economic safety nets, lack access to even basic health care, and are targets of stigmatization and xenophobia.

 

Yet millions of refugees also continue to be the unsung heroes of this crisis – essential workers who show up for work every day, volunteer in their new communities and give back wherever they can.

 

We know this has always been true. Given a chance, refugees contribute to stronger, safer and more vibrant communities and societies.

 

Today’s musical programme, Songs of Five Continents, reminds us that wherever we are in the world, we are connected as one human family.

 

It is especially notable that the beautiful repertoire is composed and performed by classically trained Syrian musicians.

 

I will conclude by expressing my appreciation to the UN Chamber Music Society of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council for organizing this concert. Thank you.

Message by Duarte Pacheco, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

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UN Chamber Music Society Concert in Concert in Celebration of International Day of Parliamentarism
Empowering Youth in a Time of Pandemic

30 June 2021

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 30th of June 2021 marks my first International Day of Parliamentarism as the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. 

 

The theme this year, “Empowering Youth” is very dear to me as I was first elected as a Young Parliamentarian.  I know first-hand that parliaments are best when they are representative, when they include young people and their perspectives on issues. When parliaments are representative of the population, nations can have more inclusion, better policies and good laws, because they are listening to the full range of views.

 

All over the world, Covid 19 hit different parts of our society differently.  We need young people, young parliamentarians elected and empowered to bring the changes we need build better societies. 

 

As IPU President, I have taken the pledge – I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament!  I will encourage young people to run, I will mentor young people and I will learn from young people too.

 

I wish you well as we celebrate the International Day of Parliamentarism on 30 June 2021.  Obrigado!

 

The Executive Council of the UN Chamber Music Society
of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council

 

President & Artistic Director:
  
Ms. Brenda Vongova

Honorary Artistic Adviser:
  
Mr. Christopher Tin, 2x Grammy Award winning composer

Vice-President:
  
Mr. Firas Kayal

Public Relations Adviser:
  
Mr. Mohammed Shaker

Treasurer:
  
Ms. Ruxandra Ferascu

Secretary:
  
Ms. Yulya Vanetik

UNCMS Advisory Board

Professor Edward Bilous
Founding Director of Juilliard's Center for Innvoation in the Arts
Ms. Eileen Moon, Associate Principal Cello, New York Philharmonic

Professor Natasha Brofsky,
The Juilliard School 

Concert Videos:

United Nations Global YouTube

UN Chamber Music Society YouTube

 

Recordings:
Spotify

 

Social Media:

Facebook & Instagram & Twitter

@UNchambermusic

Contact:

United Nations Headquarters
UN Chamber Music Society

of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council
c/o Ms. Brenda Vongova (S-3802)
New York, NY, 10017

 

Email: info@unchambermusic.org

Painting by Adolph Menzel (1850 - 1852).  Frederick the Great plays flute in his summer palace Sanssouci, with Franz Benda playing violin, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach accompanying on keyboard, and unidentified string players.

Photo credit: Wikipedia / Google Cultural Institute

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