Music can be con­sid­ered a uni­versal lan­guage that defies cul­tural bor­ders. On March 27, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Boston Sym­phony Orchestra Office of Edu­ca­tion and Com­mu­nity Out­reach and the Melody for Dia­logue Among Civ­i­liza­tions Asso­ci­a­tion, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity will join in the con­ver­sa­tion by hosting a his­toric sym­po­sium that will explore the role that music can play in pro­moting mutual under­standing, enhanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion and improved inter­ac­tion and coop­er­a­tion between cultures.

The Music and Cul­tural Diplo­macy Sym­po­sium at North­eastern is the latest in a series of events that began as a sym­po­sium and con­cert held at the United Nations Edu­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Orga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO) head­quar­ters in Paris in November 2007. “Music as a Means of Inter­cul­tural Dia­logue” inves­ti­gated how music helps people com­mu­ni­cate, under­stand and respect one another in a glob­al­izing world.

Sim­i­larly, “the Music and Cul­tural Diplo­macy Sym­po­sium will foster dia­logue about music’s ability to unite people as cit­i­zens of the world,” said Anthony De Ritis, pro­fessor and chair of the music depart­ment at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. ”The sym­po­sium will bring together key inter­na­tional players, as well as those on the national scene, who share a belief that music can be used as a force for mutual under­standing and peace between cultures.”

Invited par­tic­i­pants include eth­no­mu­si­col­o­gists, eth­nol­o­gists, his­to­rians, musi­col­o­gists, authors, musi­cians, com­posers, lawyers, as well as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of acad­emia, gov­ern­ments, non-​​governmental and inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions and the pri­vate sector.

A momen­tous panel pre­sen­ta­tion led by Hans d’Orville, UNESCO’s Assis­tant Director Gen­eral for Strategic Plan­ning, will include:

- Anthony Fogg, Artistic Admin­is­trator, Boston Sym­phony Orchestra
– Laura Freid, Chief Exec­u­tive Officer and Exec­u­tive Director, The Silk Road Project
– Michael Green­wald, Director, Musi­cians without Bor­ders USA
– Mehri Madar­shahi, Pres­i­dent, Melody for Dia­logue Among Civ­i­liza­tions Asso­ci­a­tion
– Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Pro­fessor of Music and Pro­fessor of African and African Amer­ican Music, Har­vard Uni­ver­sity
– Anthony Trecek-​​King, Artistic Director, Boston Children’s Chorus
– Tony Wood­cock, Pres­i­dent, New Eng­land Conservatory

Addi­tional events will include a con­cert at the Boston Sym­phony Orchestra fea­turing con­ductor Charles Dutoit and vio­linist Lisa Bati­ashvili, and a free mul­ti­cul­tural con­cert at Northeastern’s Fenway Center fea­turing musi­cians from Beijing’s Cen­tral Con­ser­va­tory of Music, the New Eng­land Spir­i­tual Ensemble, pianist Donald Berman, com­poser Su Lian Tan, and the pre­miere of De Ritis’ “Let the sun shine in the night time,” a nar­rated set­ting of “The Peace Poem,” written by over 400 ele­men­tary and middle school stu­dents throughout the world and sub­mitted to the United Nations’ Cyber­schoolbus (http://​www​.un​.org/​c​y​b​e​r​s​c​h​o​o​l​b​u​s​/​p​e​a​c​e​d​a​y​/​p​o​e​m​.​asp). The com­po­si­tion, written for Chi­nese erhu, pipa, guitar, Per­sian tar, flute, per­cus­sion and four nar­ra­tors, will be led by Del Lewis, the Director of Northeastern’s Center for the Arts.

Pan­elists par­tic­i­pating in the sym­po­sium round­table include Maure Aronson, Exec­u­tive Director, World Music/​CRASHarts; Anne Caufriez, Pres­i­dent, Euro­pean Society of Eth­no­mu­si­cology; Judith Eis­senberg, Founder and Director of Musi­cU­nitesUs; Esther Nelson, Gen­eral and Artistic Director, Boston Lyric Opera; Jon Solins, Pro­gram Director, WGBH radio; Atesh Son­neborn, Asso­ciate Director, Smith­sonian Folk­ways Record­ings; Nadav Tamir, Consul Gen­eral of Israel, New Eng­land; and Anita Walker, Exec­u­tive Director of the Mass­a­chu­setts Cul­tural Council.

For more infor­ma­tion please visit http://​www​.music​.neu​.edu/​m​cd/ or con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu