World Orchestra for Peace 1995 - 2010
'Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defences of peace must be constructed.'
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 1945
The World Orchestra for Peace is an expression of harmony on all levels. It was founded in 1995 by Sir Georg Solti to reaffirm, in his words, 'the unique strength of music as an ambassador for peace'. Its players come from orchestras all over the world, many of them concert masters and section leaders in their own right, and the orchestra has no existence outside the very special occasions that call it into being.
The orchestra is also unique in practical terms. There's the logistical challenge of assembling everyone. The eminent players must put aside issues of status: their seating positions rotate, and the section leaders vary from work to work. Even tuning can be tricky since orchestras play at different pitches across the world. Its members do not draw a salary from it, yet return time after time to bear witness to the spirit which animates it.
Sir Donald Runnicles
Sir Karl Jenkins
World Orchestra for Peace at the Proms in 2000
© 2000 BBC Photo: Barry Boxall
'...isn't it amazing that we musicians can produce a united Europe or more... even a united world.' Sir Georg Solti