Live Music Now doesn’t exist just in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – there are Live Music Now branches across twenty locations in Germany and five in Austria, as well as Live Music Now France and Live Music Now Netherlands. On 5-7 November, we gathered for an inspirational in-person weekend in Amsterdam, joined by colleagues from Concerts du COEUR of Switzerland and Musika Visiems of Lithuania.
We heard illuminating and thought-provoking talks on charity volunteering (from Sophie Dencher-van der Voort van Zijp, Board member of the Friends of the Mauritshuis) and the D&I journey of the Concertgebouw (from Job Noordhof, Head of Marketing, Communication and Sales at the Royal Concertgebouw), as they seek to open their building to new audiences and bring about real change in the Netherlands. They then opened their doors to our attendees, who were treated to the world premiere of Carnival of Shades performed by the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
We spent time listening to each others’ updates and new ideas. It was hugely interesting to hear reports of new projects from our European counterparts, including the work done in France with stroke patients in hospitals. There exists a real desire to share the evidence being gathered globally. Following international updates, our Chief Executive Janet Fischer introduced our new strategic intent. These sessions were followed by some wonderful live music from Live Music Now Netherlands’ Maat Saxophone Quartet. Their Fado arrangement was spectacular, and highlighted so perfectly what a musical identity looks like in practice.
What was apparent was that Live Music Now is a movement of committed people wanting to use music to change lives. The conference provoked a spirit of collaboration, and sparked a desire to be more closely connected across countries.
We all enjoyed the hosting and hospitality by Live Music Now Netherlands and were made to feel extremely welcome in Amsterdam. We greatly looking forward to future Live Music Now International Co-Operation Group events and a deeper collaboration between our organisations.