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A boy of 60

img  Tobias

The Jeunesse Musicales International (JMI) has turned 60 this year. To most, this will go by unnoticed, especially since the organisation will not be spending millions of dollars on a caviar and champagne party. This low profile is part of JMI's character and has everything to do with its idealistisc outset.

Right after World War II, Marcel Cuvelier from Belgium and Frenchman Rene Nicoly decided that they would not join in the general lament and try something postive instead. Their idea was to use music as a tool for understanding and to use it where it still had its biggest impact: Among the young.
This first meant organising concerts and allowing people to actually listen to the works by the great masters -  Live activities still account for one of the most important fields for JMI (it organises about 15.000 concerts annualy).
After a while, however, the founders realised that it was not enough to foster love for the music among listeners. The real challenge was how to encourage young musicians to have the courage and the means to take up a career as a Classical musician. Of course, these two points are closely related as musicians will also be visiting concerts more often, thereby financing the system. Therefor, apart from organising work shops for instrumentalists and facilitating the dire job of finding opportunities to play live, JMI has also brought together whole Youth orchestras all over the world.
The final pillar or its work is represented by a thought that sprung up in the early 90s and has since prevailed: Youth Empowerment through Music. A revent series or articles in the Jakarta Post focusses on this aspect. Current President Pierre Goulet has emphasised that the future of Classical music is in the hands of developing countries (an opinion echoed by recent sentiments about Venzuela's FESNOJIV program) and that it made for an incredible chance to change the situation in them for the better. Goulet stated that in his experience it was just as hard financing events in the developed world as in poorer countries and expressed his deep disappointment in the fact that goverments around the globe were not paying any attention to what essentially defined their country: Culture and arts. Finally, another article links an important word in the vocabulary of the JMI ("access") and an important word in the entire world ("Internet"). By allowing children to listen to Classical music on the Web and to provide the information they might be interested in, the organisation hopes to increase awareness and fascination among young people. In the future, this will mean providing downloads and live streams from their excellent homepage, which already boasts 200.000 visitors each month.

After 60 years, the fruits of some hard and dedicated work are slowly showing and even though the JMI is a non-profit organisation: Some caviar and champagne would not be out of place.

Homepage: JMI
Homepage: The Jakarta Post

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