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European Day of Early Music Under the patronage of UNESCO

REMA - European Early Music Network

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European Day of Early Music


The fourth edition of the European Day of Early Music (EDEM) took place on March 21 2016 with René Jacobs as ambassador.

René Jacobs:

"I joined the early music revival movement in the wake of the progress made by the great pioneers of the 60s, and therefore witnessed first-hand the way it developed – not only did it spark a revolution in performance practice, it also inspired in musicians a sense of engagement, both with a repertoire and with music-making in general.

While the resistance we experienced back then towards reviving historical performance practice has now given way to acceptance, the inclusion of a few Handel operas in the programmes of our major festivals and opera houses must not make us complacent – we must be wary of conforming and continue to cultivate a spirit of curiosity about music and the circumstances in which it was originally performed.

Two days ago, we heard the sad news of the death of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. I should therefore like to dedicate these few lines and this year’s European Day of Early Music to the memory of that great non-conformist musician, in recognition of the central role he played in the early music revival movement.

He once wrote the following: “Art is more than just entertainment. It used to be a vital element of civilisation: you went into a concert hall and came out again devastated, transformed, your certainties stripped away.” What I most expect from the younger generation of musicians as they approach this repertoire (and all music, for that matter), is that they base their interpretations on a close examination of the cultural and historic context in which any given work was written. To quote Harnoncourt again, “The word ‘WHY’ should always be at the forefront of every artist’s mind.”

René Jacobs, Berlin, 7 March 2016

This event is open to anyone who would like to organise a concert, an open rehearsal, a workshop, a conference, etc about Early Music: whether festival, concert hall, ensemble, conservatoire, musician!

In order to be taken on the list of events of the day, please fill the following form: link.

For more information about the European Day of Early Music, please click here.

REMA is supported by:

  • The European Commission through the Creative Europe programme.
  • The Direction Générale de la Création Artistique of the French Ministry for Communication and Culture.

The European Broadcasting Union has been a media partner during the three first editions.

Live streamings - Technical requirements Rapport Journée Européenne de Musique Ancienne 2015 Report European Day of Early Music 2015
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This project was funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which
may be made of the information contained therein.
Le REMA is funded with support from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.