Change in The Making – Why Change is Inevitable and How to Shape It

Actors from the field of music education met at the “THE ART OF MUSIC EDUCATION Vol. VIII” symposium in Hamburg from 11 to 13 October 2022. This eighth edition of the international conference organised by the Elbphilharmonie and Körber-Stiftung once more brought guests from across Europe together to discuss current issues against the background of the pandemic as well as the energy and security crisis in Europe.

“You can’t avoid change” said Feimatta Conteh, Environmental Sustainability Manager at the Manchester International Festival, at the launch of the conference. According to her, change also means that there is no going back to the old and familiar environment. At the same time, she asked about “What voices are present in the change”, also referring to the social dimension of these ubiquitous upheavals. The phenomena of climate change are inextricably linked to current economic and societal upheavals. They do also offer some opportunities, however. The subsequent panel with Becky Hazlewood, Manuel Rivera, and Soumik Datta in conversation with Karina Svensson, among other people, was dedicated to this subject.

“I did not become an activist – I was born as an activist”: This is how special guest Chi-chi Nwanoku started her keynote on the symposium’s second day. Nwanoku, the founder of the Chineke! Orchestra, was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for special achievements in the field of music. Her life’s journey impressively proved how difficult, but also how indispensable, the battle against racist stereotypes continues to be.

At the same time, she kicked off day two with its main focus on inclusion, collaboration, and empowerment. The panels to follow made it clear that there is still a lot left to do to produce an inclusive and (architecturally) accessible concert hall.

Day three dealt with the matter of how change begins. Jasmin Vogel from the Kulturforum Witten reported from her own practical experiences, at the same time suggesting that change be tackled in small steps while deliberately breaking routines. According to her, a structure conducive to innovation that can prevail in light of the consequences is a decisive prerequisite. For example, working methods and attitudes will not change merely by issuing orders to that effect. Attitudes must change as well. The negotiation process is not afforded enough time here according to her, in spite of being vital in an institution that promotes innovation. Alma Pripp from the Human Library and Carolin Stüdemann from the start-up Viva con Agua offered further examples of productive change processes.

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Social development needs dialogue and understanding. Through its operational projects, in its networks and in conjunction with cooperation partners, Körber-Stiftung takes on current social challenges in areas of activities comprising Innovation, International Dialogue and Vibrant Civil Society. At present its work focuses on three topics: Technology needs Society, The Value of Europe and New Life in Exile. Inaugurated in 1959 by the entrepreneur Kurt A. Körber, the foundation is now actively involved in its own national and international projects and events. In particular, the foundation feels a special bond to the city of Hamburg. Furthermore, the foundation holds a site in the capital of Germany, Berlin.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

In the flow of the river Elbe and surrounded on three sides by water, Hamburg’s concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, is a centre of attraction for all who live in Hamburg as well as for visitors from all over the world. The spectacular building, which celebrated its opening in January 2017, houses two concert halls, a large music education area, a range of places to eat and drink, a hotel and the public Plaza, which offers visitors an unparalleled panoramic view over the whole city. Artistic quality, variety and accessibility shape the musical programme of Hamburg’s cultural landmark.

Co-operation partners

European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO)

The European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) is an active network bringing together many of the major concert halls in Europe in order to promote professional exchange, shared reflection and the initiation of joint initiatives. ECHO constitutes a platform for open exchange and for joint thinking on the opportunities, developments and shared challenges central to the lives of concert halls in the 21st century. All of the ECHO halls are producing institutions and demonstrate a high level of artistic integrity presenting a significant level of own productions in the performance series they offer. ECHO leads an EU funded platform for the development of international emerging talent in classical music for the period 2018-2021.





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