Director-General designates Savall and Figueras of Spain as UNESCO Artists for Peace

Director-General designates Savall and Figueras of Spain as UNESCO Artists for Peace
  • © UNESCO/D. Matar

On 17 June 2008, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, designated Jordi Savall, renowned viola da gambist, conductor and composer, and Montserrat Figueras, soprano, UNESCO Artists for Peace at a ceremony held at UNESCO headquarters.

Ambassador Maria Jesus San Segundo, Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, attended the ceremony.

Welcoming the two musicians to UNESCO, the Director-General expressed his sincere satisfaction at their having accepted to put their talent, reputation and artistic passion at the service of UNESCO’s ideals.

In his speech at the ceremony, Mr Matsuura highlighted the fact that the carriers of these musicians reflected their commitment to “the promotion of permanent intercultural dialogue, which is open to the world and others, sensitive to the plurality of traditions, artistic disciplines and musical languages.”

“The ceremony today is a tribute to your joint artistic passion, your passion to share and your concern about teaching and transmission.” Turning to the two artists, Mr Matsuura explained that thanks to them, “entire generations have rediscovered an immense musical heritage, in a constantly renewed dialogue between the sacred and secular traditions of the East and the West. Above all, we know that your artistic work is first and foremost perceived as a message of peace and of tolerance.”

Mr Matsuura went on to say that the artists’ “shared conviction that music can and should be a universal language of sharing, a place of free circulation of words, ideas and the imaginary is a message that we have to keep alive. It is for these reasons that I have a great pleasure to officially designate you UNESCO Artists for Peace. In this new capacity, you will be associated in particular with UNESCO’s programmes conducted for the benefit of cultural and artistic dialogue.”

UNESCO Artists for Peace are well-known international figures who give a particular resonance to the Organization’s messages and programmes, through their influence, charisma and notoriety. Maria de Medeiros, Manu Dibango, Gilberto Gil, Valery Guerguiev and Missa Johnouchi are among the UNESCO Artists for Peace who have generously accepted to diffuse the ideals and messages of the Organization.

Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras received the distinction “for their outstanding musical commitment to intercultural dialogue and their contribution to furthering the Organization’s ideals.”

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 077-2008
  • 19-06-2008
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