We live in alarming and turbulent times: Brexit, the US election, increasing authoritarianism in Eastern Europe, the rise of populism across other parts of Europe and the advance of the far right within national and international politics. There is a genuine fear that our European continent may be falling apart, both politically and culturally - or at best be reduced to a purely economic entity. We feel strongly that a cultural call to action is necessary and urgent.
Musicians know about the importance of listening, of sharing emotions with each other in order to create and re-create one of the highest forms of expression known to human beings: music, which we believe is the most international of languages. This is why we feel emboldened to share this message.
We pledge whenever possible in our work as international musicians to discourage:
Falling back into single national states, potentially in conflict with one another and dependent on the benevolence of the superpowers
Rigid borders between friendly nations, limiting our ability to move and express ourselves freely
An exaggerated climate of fear leading to the infringement of civil and human rights
Threats against freedom of speech and against the free press
The erosion of democracy
Rewriting of national history
We pledge whenever possible in our work as international musicians to encourage:
More democratic legitimation and transparency of European institutions
More solidarity between European nations, respecting each others traditions and values.
Supporting patriotism and national pride together with, not at the expense of, European unity and ideals
Developing a clear narrative to define what cultural identity is. Bringing across the message that such identity is enriched by contact with other cultures
A pan-European cultural collaboration with major European projects such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) or the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO)
Cultural education and access to culture as a basic right for everyone