NMC/IMC Announce Symposium on Political Violence Against Music Creators and Performers

violence against music
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violence against music
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Photo Credit: Derek Truninger

NMC/IMC announces the March 3 premiere of the Symposium on Political Violence Against Music Creators and Performers.

The National Music Council of the United States (NMC) and the International Music Council (IMC) are proud to announce the premiere of a landmark symposium addressing the increase in political violence against songwriters, composers, and music performers worldwide. The seminar will take place on March 3 at 9 AM EST, with a webcast available on the Music Council’s website. The event represents a vital component of the global Music Freedom Day observances on March 3.

The program will feature discussions and interviews with many of the world’s leading experts and activists on free speech issues pertaining to the music and music education communities. Panel topics will include Movements to Protect Free Speech in Music, Trends in Politically-based Censorship of the Musical Arts, and The History of Music’s Political Influence and of Governmental Attempts to Harness, Control, and Silence It.

The symposium’s website will also feature an article compiled by NMC chair Charles J. Sanders, “Music, Politics, and History,” which traces the global timeline of music suppression and includes dozens of links to examples and accounts of incidents.

“We believe this to be the first international, music community-sponsored forum ever held outside of Europe to address this crucial topic, and NMC is proud to have joined with its IMC colleagues in bringing it to fruition,” says a joint statement from Sanders and NMC president James Weaver.

“The ability in the US and Canada to speak out on such issues, principally without fear of governmental reprisal, places on us a special responsibility to shine a brighter light on these escalating injustices and attacks,” the statement continues. “Music creators and performers have always been vulnerable targets for coercion and repression. Our community’s responsibilities are to ensure that such anti-democratic activities not remain hidden in the shadows, no matter where in the world they occur — including within our own borders.”

“We have seen in recent months and years the murder, displacement, and economic sanctioning of composers, conductors, musicians, and other members of our international community in various places across the globe,” adds IMC president Alfons Karabuda. 

“Our fellow music creators and artists who find themselves in these disastrous political crossfires are urgently in need of our help. We are exquisitely sensitive to the diplomatic nuances required to avoid exacerbating the dangers they face and will exercise sound judgement in consultation with the victims in each case. History, however, teaches that silence is neither an acceptable nor effective strategy.”