Jeunesses Musicales International

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Jeunesses Musicales International
The JMI Logo adopted at the Annual General Assembly 2005
Founded 1945
Type Non-profit, Interest group
48 Member Organisations

Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) is the largest youth music NGO in the world, created in Brussels, Belgium in 1945 with the mission to "enable young people to develop through music across all boundaries".[1][2] With a vast array of activities, JMI has established four priority activity fields: Young Musicians, Young Audiences, Youth Empowerment and Youth Orchestras & Ensembles. With member organisations currently in 45 countries and contact organisations in another 35, JMI is a global network providing opportunities for young people to engage with music, by developing demand-driven programs that empower youth on local, national and international levels. JMI is a “glocal” network with over 36,000 diverse musical events annually which embrace all styles of music, reaching almost 5 million young people up to the age of 30. JMI has been "making a difference through music’, in order to bridge social, geographical and cultural divides and create an international platform for intercultural dialogue. The work of JMI is supported by the Federal Government of Belgium - BELSPO,[3] ACTIRIS[4] and the CREATIVE EUROPE[5] Programme of the EU


The idea of creating a movement evolving around music and young people was born in the late 30s of the 20th Century by Marcel Cuvelier (Belgium). Following the occupation of Belgium, young people started to organise public concerts playing and singing for peace (1940). It was a form of protest against the war and the occupation of their country. This is the birth of Jeunesses Musicales of Belgium. Immediately after the end of the war, Rene Nicoly creates Jeunesses Musicales of France inspired by the youth music peace movement in the neighbouring Belgium. Jeunesses Musicales International was founded on 17 July 1945, by Marcel Cuvelier (Belgium) and René Nicoly (France) in the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium under the name of "Federation Internationales des Jeunesses Musicales". JMI initially focused on presenting "good music" (classical music) to young audiences through concerts in the main concert halls and later through school concerts.[6] The focus changed over time to also encompass young musicians through music camps, competitions and youth orchestras. JMI was the pioneer organisation and paramount structure in the establishment of youth music activities in its member countries. Since the beginning it received substantial financial and political support from governments, influential personalities and head of states, giving birth to many common youth and music activities in the world today: youth orchestras and choirs, school concerts, the promotion of young musicians, young audiences development …

Originating as a peace movement, it quickly adopted a strategy that aimed at the overall development of the young generations through music, exploring the socio-cultural impact of music. In the late 60's, JMI also opened up to other styles of music such as contemporary classical music, ethnic and traditional music, jazz and pop/rock.

Official relations and affiliations[edit]

  • United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (Ros C)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)* (Consultative Status)[7]
  • International Music Council[8]
  • European Youth Forum[9]
  • Culture Action Europe[10]

International projects[edit]

  • ETHNO[11] is a unique project for traditional/folk musicians aged 15–30. It includes a series of summer music camps held annually in Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, France, Portugal, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Australia and Uganda, and additionally some touring projects for smaller ensembles. Each ETHNO draws participants from around the globe. At ETHNO, young folk musicians meet to teach each other, by ear, traditional folk songs from their cultures. Through a combination of workshops, jam sessions, seminars, and performances, musicians have the opportunity to learn a variety of musical styles. Bringing together participants from a variety of cultural backgrounds, ETHNO is a space for intercultural learning, friendship, and exchange. ETHNO has been recognised as good practice in non formal education for young people by the 2008 Sunshine Report on Non Formal Education by the European Youth Forum.[12] The program is managed by the JMI ETHNO Committee.
  • YAMA.[13] All of JMI's work with young audiences is based on the underlying principal that all children and youth should receive access to music/culture as a fundamental human right. Thus, although in many nations we now celebrate an improvement in the music programs of education institutions, the YAMA serves as a beacon of hope to those still facing less than desirable circumstances, to continue the fight for this crucial sector of human development. As one of the biggest supporters of young audience productions in the world (either as producer or promoter), in 2008 JMI established the annual Young Audiences Music Award. It honours creativity and innovation in the field of musical productions for young audiences, from all corners of the world, created by professional ensembles of all forms, from solo artist to orchestra. The YAMAs aim to identify and support cutting-edge productions that inspire and engage young people giving them magic moments to keep for a lifetime. Music has a profound impact on young people and promotes intercultural dialogue and understanding. The program is managed by the JMI Young Audiences Committee.
  • BLACKBOARD Music Project. The main aim of the Blackboard Music Project (BbMP) is to increase the quantity as well as the quality of concerts for Young Audiences (YA, primarily school children) in the participating countries as well as improve the possibilities for the exchange of concerts between the European countries/regions. This will be done through creating and strengthening a relevant and well-functioning communication platform and network for YA producers, organisers and experts; through creating awareness of cultural differences as well as universal means in ways of reaching the target audience to promote and facilitate international exchange; through the exchange, education and capacity building of producers, organisers and experts in the field (the producer is a professional who typically has a professional musical background as well as experience from the educational world and as such he/she is able to help the artists shape and develop their production to better reach the target audience). The education and capacity building of producers/organisers will take place in 2 planned Producers’ Forums, one in Sweden in 2014 and one Croatia in 2015; in the exchange of producers and organisers at the 8 planned BbMP showcases as well as on the web-based communication platform PODIO, where discussions and presentations of new and innovative productions and the exchange of ideas will take place. In addition to this, an exchange of concert productions at the BbMP showcases will take place to initiate a tradition of exchange of YA tours across Europe. All of the experience and information gained during the project will be assembled in a “Best Practice” digital toolkit, which will be embedded in the project website and thus be accessible to all with interest in the field in and outside Europe. In this manner, the work with producers and organisers will function as a gateway to reaching thousands of YA artists as well as millions of school children all over Europe. The program is a partnership of JMI members and young audience producers from Denmark, Belgium, France, Macedonia, Croatia, Norway and Sweden, co-managed by the JMI Young Audiences Committee and co-funded by the EU CREATIVE EUROPE Program[14][15]
  • IMAGINE Festivals.[16] Imagine is the all-styles music competition for young artists that takes a different approach to the typical ‘music competition’. By promoting musical quality, originality, diversity, creativity, safe sound and gender issues, Imagine creates a unique platform for young musicians to gain professional experience in a positive environment that enables them to develop their musical careers, self-confidence and understanding of different peoples and cultures. All events have an educational/social dimension including trainings, workshops and master-classes from industry professionals. Competitions are held annually on a national scale in Belgium, Croatia, France, Malawi, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and Zimbabwe and culminate each year with the Imagine Festival and the International Imagine Final. New entries as of 2015 include Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and the Czech Republic. Past international winners include: 2013: Were (Zimbabwe),[17] 2012: Gustaf (Sweden),[18] 2011: Algot (Sweden).[19] Supported by the CULTURE Programme of the EU. The programme is managed by the JMI IMAGINE Committee.
  • JM Jazz World.[20] The JM Jazz program caters for the promotion of international summer jazz camps, international projects, jazz ensembles tours and international exchanges of jazz musicians between the JMI countries. Its main objective is to provide young jazz musicians with the possibility to gain experience working to high professional standards in major concert halls, theatres and festivals, and with outstanding jazz musicians, sharing musical ideas in the field of jazz music. Its flagship program is the JM JAZZ World, an international ensemble of selected young jazz musicians, spending an unforgettable summer rehearsing and touring under the patronage of world renowned conductors.
  • Music Crossroads [1] is a non-profit organisation founded by JMI which uses the power of music education, professional training, live performances and promotion of young talents to support the development of the music education sector and the music industry in the culturally rich Southern African region. Its unique Music Crossroads Academies in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, established in April 2013, empower talented young musicians with an affordable and innovative music education program, and the necessary tools for a career in music. Music Crossroads was initiated in 1995 by Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI), the world’s largest youth-music network, organising annual festivals, international band tours, and training many young talents in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with established independent Music Crossroads entities. One of the biggest and most exciting cultural development initiatives in Africa, the Music Crossroads program has involved more than 150,000 young musicians and reached more than a million audiences in Southern Africa. Music Crossroads’ mission is to empower people in Africa through music. The project is supported by the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry,
  • Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra (JMWO) [2] is an international youth orchestra that provides young musicians with professional musical opportunities at the highest artistic level, touring twice annually as ambassadors for world peace and intercultural understanding. Launched in 1949, by Maestro Igor Markievitch, as an international youth orchestra, it was not until 1969 that it was institutionalised by Gilles Lefebvre (Canada) as the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra and it was as such, the first international youth orchestra. The orchestra quickly gained a worldwide reputation of high artistic quality and became a symbol of international understanding and peaceful cooperation between nations. The JM World Orchestra has been described as a harmonious community of musicians without borders or as the United Nations of Music. Around 10,000 young musicians have passed through the orchestra over the last 50 years, under the batons of prestigious and renowned maestros such as Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Serge Baudo, Lawrence Foster, Walter Weller, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Eduardo Mata, Jeffrey Tate, Vernon Handley, Charles Dutoit, Michel Tabachnik, Antonio Pappano, En Shao, Bobby McFerrin, Daniel Harding, Yuri Temirkanov, Kent Nagano, Yakov Kreizberg, Michael Tilkin, Kurt Masur, Franz-Paul Decker and Josep Vicent. In 1996 the orchestra was appointed UNESCO Artist For Peace in recognition of its humanitarian message. As program of the Jeunesses Musicales International network, the orchestra draws young musicians from all corners of the globe to play for two sessions annually and has to date toured over 30 countries. Over the years the orchestra has enjoyed the patronage of the cities of: Montreal, Canada (1968-1985), Berlin, Germany (1986-2004) and Valencia, Spain (2005-2009). Today, carrying a mission of intercultural understanding at the dawn of the 21st century, the JM World Orchestra reshapes the way the world looks upon music. Inspired by and treasuring the „classical“ music of all living cultures, the orchestra ventures into still uncharted realms. Involving original local music heritage forms the JM World Orchestra highlights their reflection in conventional and contemporary symphonic repertoire. The JM World Orchestra advances the standard orchestra model with a groundbreaking exploration of global symphonic soundscapes, bringing forth a new symphonic sound to the world audiences.
  • World Youth Choir (WYC) [3]. Existing since 1989, the WYC is a genuine educational and social experience that draws on many vocal traditions and aims at the highest artistic level. This phenomenon is unique in the world of music. Made of up to 100 young singers between the ages of 17 and 26, the World Youth Choir is original in its concept, building bridges between young singers from diverse cultures, bringing together talented young singers from all over the world, to its sessions organised in different world countries, each year. Today, the World Youth Choir is proud of the alumni with more than 1000 singers from more than 50 world countries. Artistically, it is a unique experience for young singers to develop their musical and vocal talents by interacting with internationally recognised conductors, performing challenging repertoires at a professional level. In a social context, the World Youth Choir contributes to the raising of new generations of “Citizens of the World”. WYC is a school of understanding between different cultures, people, music and traditions. Beyond the artistic project, which in itself is a major achievement, it represents a unique experience in personal relationships for its members. Regardless of political or cultural differences, singers from different sides of the globe, with a common passion for music and singing, share one month of life together, allowing work, play conversation and debate. This community life creates a genuine spirit of friendship, a group with a unique cohesion and vitality that amaze those who attend the concerts. Without any speeches or banners, it provides the message of international peace, brotherhood, and the vitality of life itself. UNESCO “Artist for peace” in 1996. In the past 23 years, the World Youth Choir has had the privilege to perform under the baton of world renowned conductors: Anton Armstrong, Frieder Bernius, Filippo Maria Bresan, Michael Brewer, Peter Broadbent, Bob Chilcott, Peter Dijkstra, Peter Erdei, Eric Ericson, Gunnar Eriksson, Gary Graden, Georg Grün, Maria Guinand, Aharon Harlap, Florian Heyerick, Felipe Izcaray, Sidumo Jacobs, Robert Janssens, Ayis Ioannides, Tonu Kaljuste, Eric Klaas, Anthony Leach, Eduardo Mata (†), Albert McNeil, Denis Menier, Theodora Pavlovitch, Grete Pedersen, Johannes Prinz, Cecilia Rydinger Alin, Robert Shaw(†), Ole-Kristen Ruud, Fred Sjöberg, Stefan Sköld, Paul Smith, Robert Sund, Ward Swingle, Nobuaki Tanaka, Andre Thomas, Jonathan Velasco, Michele Weir, Hak Won Yoon, Steve Zegree, Johan Duijck, Ana Maria Raga, Ragnar Rasmussen and Josep Vila I Casanas. Managed by the Foundation World Youth Choir ((The Hague, the Netherlands) founded by the three patron organisations: International Federation for Choral Music,[21] Jeunesses Musicales International and the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat.[22]
  • Fair Play:[23] Anti Corruption Youth Voices is a global competition for original songs[24][25] by young musicians under the age of 35 on the theme of anti-corruption and good governance. The competition is an 2010 initiative of the Global Anti-Corruption Youth Network, a worldwide network of civil society organisations with the specific agenda of fighting corruption. The Competition is an awareness-raising program and network building effort to connect socially conscious artists and citizens worldwide, a call for young musicians to join the global anti-corruption youth movement, and ensure that the global community hears their messages. Four editions of the competition have been completed since 2010 (Brussels,[26] Nairobi,[27] Brasilia,[28] and upcoming in Tunisia). The Fair Play winner Dr. Sley & Da Green Soljas (Cameroon) has received the Honesty Oscar for the "Best Activist Anthem". The Honesty Oscars is a campaign by together with Accountability Lab and is a week-long event to honour groundbreaking the people and creatives that make our world more transparent and hold our governments and corporations more accountable.[29] The Project won the 2012 European Youth Award and the World Summit Youth Award for outstanding digital content for social good in the "Create your culture!" Category.[30][31] Organised in partnership with the JMI Foundation, the Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network,[32] the World Bank Institute[33] and Transparency International.
  • Music against Child Labour Campaign.[34] The global Music Against Child Labour Initiative was launched in 2013. It links the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) with famous conductors, musicians, musicians’ organisations and music education bodies. The Initiative’s Manifesto calls on orchestras, choirs and musicians of all genres worldwide to dedicate one concert between October 2013 and December 2014 to the struggle against child labour. The first concert in the main series will be performed in October during the III Global Conference on Child Labour in Brasilia. Music is a universal language. The Initiative is inspired by the power of music to communicate to wide audiences. Experience shows that involving socially excluded children in structured musical activity and education can help protect them from child labour. Good music and arts education helps makes schools more attractive and child friendly. This Initiative is supported by the following founders: Claudio Abbado; José-Antonio Abreu; Alessio Allegrini, Founder, Musicians for Human Rights; Daniel Barenboim; Pilar Jurado; Benoît Machuel, General Secretary of the International Federation of Musicians; Diego Matheuz; Rodolfo Mederos; Eduardo Mendez, Executive Director of the Simon Bolivar Music Foundation “El Sistema”; Antonio Mosca, Director of the Suzuki Orchestra, Turin; Guy Ryder, Director General, ILO; and Blasko Smilevski, General Secretary of Jeunesses Musicales International.
  • Euro-Arab Youth Music Center.[35] Based on the belief that access to music is a fundamental human right and a factor contributing to the sustainable development of young people and our communities, Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI), the Cultural Movement EPILOGI of Limassol and the Arab Academy of Music (League of Arab States) have undertaken a joint venture to establish a Euro-Arab Youth Music Centre, in Limassol, Cyprus. The first of its kind, the Centre aims to improve cooperation among key stakeholder in the fields of youth and music and therefore enable an increased number of young people from European and Arab countries to participate in and create educational and social music programs that make a difference. The EAYMC is the result in fruitful cooperation between the above mention partners, that started in 2005 with ETHNO Cyprus a youth music camp bringing together young traditional/folk musicians from the two regions. The project continued with ETHNO Cyprus in 2006 and 2008 (funded by Youth EuroMed and Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture); Cyprus in Action in 2010 that brought together not only young musicians but also young cultural operators (funded by European Cultural Foundation) and finally, the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Music Dialogues from 2011-2012 (funded by EU “Culture 2007-2013” Programme). During the last project, the partners have organised the Euro-Arab Youth Music Forum in Amman, Capacity Building Training Courses in Amman and Barcelona and the Euro-Med Youth Choral Fair: Choral Crossroads 2011 in Limassol with a total of over 500 participants and attendance of over 5000 people, mostly young audiences. The Centre’s Core Values can be summarised into three categories:a) Youth (Active citizenship and social integration; Personal development and empowerment); b) Music (Access to music; Diversity of musical genres) and c) Inter-cultural dialogue (international cooperation; Peace, mutual understanding and tolerance).
  • Jeunesses Musicales World Meeting Centers. JMI proudly recognises two international arts centres as World Meeting Centres of JMI - The International Cultural Centre of Jeunesses Musicales Croatia in Groznjan (Croatia) and the Musikakademie Schloss Weikersheim (Germany). These cultural centres, established by JM Croatia[36] and JM Germany,[37] are open to young people from all over the world. They provide a special musical environment for development, education, and exchange of ideas; and offer various musical and artistic workshops and seminars with well-known lecturers & professors. These centres also act as a home away from home for the JMI network, the inspiring landscapes of Groznjan (a medieval town on Istrian peninsula in Croatia 10 km from the seaside) and Weikersheim (a 16th-century castle overlooking the Tauber Valley and surrounded by baroque gardens) acting as dynamic working environments for JMI network meetings.

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