On July 10, 2016 the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, namedd Turkish musician Kudsi Ergüner, UNESCO Artist for Peace, at a ceremony held at the Congress Center in Istanbul (Turkey) following the opening ceremony of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee, which ends on July 20.
Kudsi Ergüner is appointed in recognition of his efforts to promote the universal values of music, an essential instrument of dialog between cultures, for his contribution to the protection of musical heritage, his support for the International Decade of the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) and his firm commitment to the ideals of the Organization.
During the ceremony, Director General Irina paid tribute to Mr. Ergüner’s efforts throughout his career to keep alive the musical heritage of his country. “Your life and work have been guided by a profound passion to bring the past to life, to share the wisdom and beauty of traditions, to pass their messages of peace and dialogue to current and future generations, to share the depth of Mevlevi Sufi music, building on Persian and Turkish traditions, mixing this with poetry, literature and living arts across the region,” she expressed.
Born in Turkey in 1952, Kudsi Ergüner is a ney (reed flute) player, composer, musicologist, teacher, author and translator. Trained by his father, Ulvi Ergüner, the last great master of the ney flute, he has given concerts throughout the world and helped revive traditional musical trends. His collaborations with prestigious artists such as Peter Gabriel, Maurice Béjart, Peter Brook and Didier Lockwood helped to spread this music to Western audiences.
As a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Mr. Ergüner aims to work for the updating of the forgotten musical heritage. “I’m an artist but also a man of action and I hope to share my actions in the framework of UNESCO alongside other Artists for Peace,” he declared.
UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to promote the message and UNESCO programs. UNESCO is working with them to increase public awareness regarding key development issues and the role of the Organization in these areas.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.