European Music Council

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European Music Council
TypeEuropean Umbrella Organisation
HeadquartersBonn, Germany
74 active members
Sec. Gen.
Simone Dudt,
Ruth Jakobi

The European Music Council (EMC) is a regional group of the International Music Council (IMC) representing Europe. It was established in 1972 as the 'European regional group of the IMC' and was renamed the European Music Council in 1992. The IMC was founded by UNESCO in 1949, and is, today, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which still retains formal relations with UNESCO.[1] Until 2000 the secretariat was based in Aarau, Switzerland, and is now in Bonn, Germany.

The EMC functions as a non-governmental advisory body on musical matters. The membership includes National Music Councils from 15 European countries (including countries outside the European Union such as Azerbaijan, Israel, Russia, and Switzerland); 17 European music organisations; 17 international music organisations and 25 national music organisations or organisations that specialise in specific areas of music.


As of August 2021, The European Music Council has 74 members based in 28 countries.

National Music Councils[edit]

National music councils represented are Austria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

International Music Organisations[edit]

The EMC has 19 members that carry out work on an international level (defined as an organisation that has members or carries out activities in a minimum of ten countries outside of Europe).[2]

European Music Organisations[edit]

There are 19 organisations in the 'European Music Organisations' category of the EMC (defined as operating in a minimum of 20% of Europe).

National and Specialised Organisations[edit]

There are 25 National and Specialised Organisations in the European Music Council's membership (defined as any legal constituted organisation, association, society, company, foundation, corporation or NGO working in the field of arts and culture, which does not fulfil the requirements of an international or regional musical organisation or National Music Council)

  • Associazione Emiliano Romagnola Cori (AERCO)
  • Association Nationale Cultures et Traditions
  • Associazione Artistico Culturale Italiana - International Vocal Training Coaching
  • BOZAR - Center for Fine Arts
  • Bulgarian Music Association
  • Callias Foundation
  • CHROMA/Zebrock
  • Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation
  • Federació Catalana d'Entitats Corals
  • Federació Catalana De Societats Musicals
  • Flemish Music Council
  • Hispania Música Foundation
  • Live Music Now! Scotland
  • Miso Music Portugal
  • Moviment Coral Català
  • Music Austria
  • Music Council of the French Community of Belgium
  • National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education & Amateur Arts (LKCA)
  • Plate-forme interrégionale
  • SafeMUSE - Safe Music Havens Initiative
  • Society of Music Merchants (SOMM)
  • Sound Diplomacy
  • Scottish Music Centre
  • Trib'Art Association
  • Unison – Croatian Music Alliance
  • Asociatia MuseArt

Board of the European Music Council[edit]

The Board of the European Music Council consists of seven members and they are elected every two years at the EMC's Annual Meeting.

The seven current board members, elected at the EMC's online Annual Meeting in June 2021 are:

  • Victoria Liedbergius (NO), President, nominated by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat, Administrative Director of Ung i Kor
  • Audrey Guerre (FR), Vice President, nominated by Live DMA, Coordinator at Live DMA
  • Willem van Moort (NL), Treasurer, nominated by the European Music School Union, Director of BplusC
  • Joanna Grotkowska (PL), nominated by the Polish Music Council, Music critic, journalist and radio producer
  • Michalis Karakatsanis (CYP), nominated by the International Association of Music Information Centres, Administrator of the Cyprus Music Information Centre
  • Harrie van den Elsen (NL), nominated by the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), Dean Prince Claus Conservatoire Hanze University of Applied Sciences
  • David Zsoldos (HU), nominated by the Hungarian Music Council, President of JM Hungary

Annual Meetings[edit]

The European Music Council hosts an annual meeting to discuss the work of the council. From 2010, the Annual Meeting was combined with a new European Forum on Music, based on the model set by the International Music Council's World Forum on Music.

Year Place Theme
2004 The Hague, the Netherlands Conference on 'Improvisation in Music'
2005 Budapest, Hungary Forum 'Many Musics in Europe'
2006 Malmö, Sweden 'Turning Points: Music, Youth Diversity'
2007 Barcelona, Spain 'Chances and Challenges: Music and the Future'
2008 Brno, Czech Republic Forum 'Access to Music: New Perspectives in Distribution, Education and Politics'
2009 Athens, Greece 'ExTra Final Event: Immigration and Multiculturalism. The Musical Dimension'
2010 Vienna, Austria 1st European Forum on Music:'Music Diversity: Looking Back, Looking Forward'
2011 Tallinn, Estonia 4th World Forum on Music: 'Music and Social Change' - in cooperation with the IMC
2012 Istanbul, Turkey 2nd European Forum on Music:'Transcending Boundaries – Building Bridges'
2013 Glasgow, Scotland 3rd European Forum on Music:'Re>>generating Europe through Music'
2014 Bern, Switzerland 4th European Forum on Music:'Music and Politics: a shared responsibility'
2015 Riga, Latvia 5th European Forum on Music:'Access to Music is digital?'
2016 Wrocław, Poland 6th European Forum on Music:'Musical Homelands: New Territories'
2017 Paphos, Cyprus 7th European Forum on Music:'Music and Cultural Diplomacy: Linking Continents – Bridging Cultures'
2018 Oslo, Norway 8th European Forum on Music: 'Looking Back – Looking Forward. The Future of Europe’s Musical Roots'
2019 Paris, France 6th World Forum on Music: 'Give me Five: The Five Music Rights in Action!' - in cooperation with the IMC
2020 Online European Forum on Music Online Series: 'Climate Action: Music as a Driver for Change'
2021 Online European Forum on Music: 'Claiming a front row seat. The place of music in society'

Projects and other Events[edit]

European Forum for Music Education and Training (EFMET)[edit]

The European Forum for Music Education and Training (EFMET), was formed in 2003 with the aim of bringing organisations that deal with formal and non-formal music education together. It ways supported by the European Commission through its Culture programme. It aimed to improve the collaboration and communication between the facilitators on formal and non-formal music education, map current trends, and formulate recommendations for future use.

ExTra! Exchange Traditions[edit]

The aim of the ExTra! project was to stimulate the exchange of different musical traditions in Europe. Its main focus was on the integration of the musical traditions of immigrants and cultural minorities together with those already existing in Europe.

The European Music Council, as coordinator, usually collaborates with some of its member organisations, as well as other interested parties, for projects. In ExTra!, they were:

  • Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Musica, Italy
  • Cité de la musique
  • Association Nationale Cultures et Traditions (ANCT), France
  • International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF), Belgium[3]
  • Music Information Centre Austria (mica)[4]
  • En Chordais, Greece

Music on Troubled Soils[edit]

Music on Troubled Soils was a conference held in Jerusalem in 2008 which discussed the role of music in troubled regions such as Israel, Cyprus and South Africa.

Speakers included: Marco Abbondanza, founder and director of 7 Sois 7 luas International Festival; Alenka Barber-Kersovan, lecturer at the Institute for Musicology of the University of Hamburg; Nenad Bogdanovic is a Serbian born Cypriot musician, organizer and youth-cultural worker; Veronika Cohen, Chairperson of the Department of Music Education at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; Danny Felsteiner, director of the Silwan Music School in East Jerusalem; Marion Haak; Rahib Haddad, conductor; Laura Hassler, director of Musicians without Borders; Timo Klemettinen, Secretary General of the Finnish Music Council and Chairman of the EMC Board; Dubi Lenz, artistic director in Israel; Melisse Lewine-Boskovich, founder of the Arab-Jewish Adamai Ensemble; Myrna Lewis; Dochy Lichtensztajn, musicologist; Eva de Mayo, conductor and music teacher; Henrik Melius, founder of Spiritus Mundi; David Sanders, director of the National Music Council of the United States; Edwin Seroussi, Professor of Musicology and Director of the Jewish Music Research Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Maya Shavit, founder of the Efroni girls' choir; Hania Souda Sabbara, director of the Magnificat Institute; Wouter Turkenburg, the founder of the International Association of Schools of Jazz; Merlijn Twaalfhoven, composer; Frans Wolfkamp, managing director of Music in ME.

European Agenda for Music[edit]

  • Vision

The European Agenda for Music aims to converge the European music sector’s many voices in order to establish an ongoing dialogue between policy makers and music sector stakeholders and was successfully launched on 21 March 2018.

  • Approach

The European Agenda for Music contributes to a musically thriving Europe by setting out priorities for the music sector in Europe for the years to come. The European Agenda for Music took into account the specific advocacy papers the EMC formulated in 2010 and 2011, which are the “Manifesto for Youth and Music in Europe” and the “Bonn Declaration” that gives recommendation for the music education sector in Europe and for national and European legislation.

STAMP - Shared Training Activities for Music Professionals[edit]

STAMP responds to a need voiced by professionals in the music sector for greater professional training and the related process of lifelong learning and will aim at:

  • Developing exemplary tools for vocational training (workshop models, guidelines for mentors and trainers), made available in an online platform.
  • Improving employability and entrepreneurship within the music sector in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe.

SHIFT - Shared Initiatives for Training[edit]

The project SHIFT will provide training initiatives for cultural leaders, working together and creating paths to face such global challenges. The partners will produce online manuals and guidelines during these two next years (December 2019-December 2021) on the following themes:

  • Cultural Leadership.
  • Climate Change.
  • Inclusion.
  • Gender & Power-relations.


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External links[edit]