Musicians for Unity is a new initiative led by Alan Gilbert following his tenure as New York Philharmonic Music Director. With the endorsement and guidance of the UN, musicians from around the world will come together to perform music at critical times in support of peace, development, and human rights, celebrating the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders. The concerts in June at David Geffen Hall in New York featured twenty four international musicians playing alongside the New York Philharmonic for three performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. These musicians represented orchestras in Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Music has shown its power through history to reflect society but also to be a force for good. As musicians we have a unique position to promote peace, respect and understanding around the world with music as the universal language. Musicians for Unity does not over estimate our power, but calls attention to the need for us all to play our part in building a safer and more humane world. Music can bring inspiration, reflection and love. If Music for Unity can add to those it will have done its job.
Musicians for Unity will partner with the UN to be a presence at moments of challenge and hope. We are endorsed by the United Nations. Both the former and current Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, have spoken of their support for this initiative. The plan is that future locations, events and causes will be coordinated with the United Nations.
This will only be possible with financial backing. The concerts in New York were made possible by a small number of generous donations. We need those to be followed by a large number of commitments. Our costs for administration are low but we cannot bring musicians together unless we have sufficient funds. We very much hope that wherever you live in the world you will be interested in supporting this unique endeavor.