From November 23 to 25, Barcelona hosted the World Peace Forum, an annual event organized by the Luxembourg-based Schengen Peace Foundation, with the operational organization in Barcelona of the Fundación de Fomento Europeo. The program included 55 round tables, simultaneous debates, exhibitions and activities that took place in different significant spaces of the city.
The Conservatori Liceu Foundation participated actively with various activities to highlight the importance of harmony and dialogue through music which, as a universal language, has a great role as a tool to promote peace, contribute to mutual understanding and achieve the overcoming of armed conflicts.
On the morning of November 23rd, the opening ceremony of the Forum was held at the Paraninfo of the University of Barcelona, where the students of the Conservatory performed significant works for peace: Candela Puigbó (cello) played El cant dels ocells, a symbol of the struggle for peace by Pau Casals, and the Saxophone Quartet of the Liceo Conservatory formed by Berta Balleste, Bernat Valls, Pol del Moral and Oriol Martínez, played Imagine by John Lennon.
On the same day, the auditorium of the Liceu Conservatory was the setting for the Round Table “Music and Peace”, a space dedicated to reflect on the role of music in peace building. The event began with welcoming remarks by Dr. Maria Serrat Martín, General Director of the Conservatori Liceu Foundation.
At this table, participated the Colombian musician Cesar Lopez, non-violent messenger of the UN, founder of the Battalion of Immediate Artistic Resistance and creator of the Escopetarra, a musical instrument with a strong symbolic meaning, as it is an AK- 47 rifle turned into a guitar; along with Fabio Hernando Arias Orozco, Rector of the University of Caldas, and one of the leaders of the Bands program of the Department of Caldas in Colombia, which currently has 78 bands with a total of 11. 700 students have benefited, many of them former armed conflict zones.
The roundtable was moderated by Xavi Ayen, Editor-in-Chief of Culture of La Vanguardia, and reflected on the crucial role of music as a tool to promote peace and contribute to mutual understanding from the experience of the participants.
Next, the Concert for Peace was presented, in which the Liceu Conservatory Choir, under the direction of Professor Ricard Oliver, performed Da pacem Domine by Arvo Pärt. Then, the Colombian singer-songwriter César López, who thanks to the collaboration of Casa Amèrica played the Escopetarra, sang, accompanied by the Conservatori Choir, his own song En su nombre, with the collaboration of the students Ot Grandos on bass, Jana Gallifa on piano and Guillermo Eliazaga on drums. Next, César López, together with Colombian singer and actress Diana Hoyos and the violin accompaniment of student Shanti Easton, performed Sobreviviré by Pablo Alborán.
The concert also featured the participation of the students of the Conservatorio Superior Liceo, Aseel Massoud and Ahmad Dyab, who performed a song for peace from the city of Damascus, as well as Sara Serrano at the piano, playing La Maja y el Ruiseñor by E. Granados and the Genesis Saxophone Quartet performed Sarajevo by E. Lago.
The closing of the event was in charge of the Leonardo 4 Children Foundation, which presented the performance of several young talents of musical interpretation, coming from areas recently affected by war, offering a message of peace and hope through their music.
PROGRAM – Music and peace: roundtable discussion and concert