Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries

The World Federation of Amateur Orchestras – WFAO will,
in collaboration with Norwegian Federation of Youth Orchestras – UNOF
& Norwegian Federation of Amateur Orchestras – NASOL

and in the frame of the 11th European Orchestra Festival of EOFed organize an International Conference as an

‘Introduction to Orchestra Activities in Developing Countries’

The seminar will consist of 2 parts:
“Introduction to Orchestra activities in developing countries”
Presentations by invited guests with follow-up discussion

“Presentations by the participants of their own activities”
Representatives of orchestras or orchestra-organisations will have the possibility to present their orchestra-activities


Download the flyer here


AIMA (Associazione Italiana Musicisti Amatori – Italian Association of Amateur Musicians) was formed in Milan in 2012 to give amateur musicians the chance to play music together and to meet other people interested in doing the same and now is the biggest amateur music association in Italy. To celebrate its 5th birthday, Saturday 3 March 2018, AIMA will run an important event, open to all amateur musicians: VIVERE LA MUSICA (LIVE MUSIC, with live to be read as the imperative).

The event is divided into two parts: a round table on amateur music and a concert open to all musicians in the city, with special guest. There are three fundamental characteristics:

  • The initiative will take place with the collaboration and participation of the Culture Department of the City of Milan, which has agreed to endorse it.
  • VIVERE LA MUSIC will celebrate AIMA’s first five years of activity ( and its surpassing the goal of 150 members now affiliated with the association.
  • 3 March 2018 is also World Wide Play In Day, an international day of music making launched by the American association ACMP – Association of Chamber Music Players.

VIVERE LA MUSICA will take place on, and will be subdivided into two parts:

ROUND TABLE – in the course of the day, professional musicians, amateurs and people who work in the sector, moderated by music journalist and critic Luca Ciammarughi, will address various topics connected with amateur music: from its cultural and social role to public relations and relations with professional musicians, to implications for music education. See the table below:

OPEN CONCERT (PLAY-IN)– A special guest will compose a piece of music ad hoc for he event. The piece must be of such a nature that musicians who come in order to play or those who show up at the spur of the moment will be able to play it. One of more of the participants of the round table will also be involved together with the special guest to train a core ensemble to help with the improvisational aspects of the event.

This initiative has two main objectives:

  1. Set aside a day dedicated to music, dialogue and debate on the role of amateur music today in Milan, musical capital of Italy. More and more schools of music for adult non-professionals are springing up, as are courses, orchestras and ensembles. However, in the city (and more generally speaking, throughout Italy) there has not really been a debate on the functions, places, objectives, effects and limits of amateur music.
  2. To underline the fundamental benefits of what amateur music is all about: it encourages relations between different generations; it draws vast audiences to the use of classical music; it valorizes action on the part of citizens and e – last but not least – figures among the various social and musical manifestations and events in the city.

Moreover, AIMA will run this year two workshop, one for symphonic and one for chamber music playing, open to all amateur musicians from all over the world.

  1. 3rd Italian Federation of Amateur Orchestras Festival. The Festival will take place at Fossano (CN) from the 1st to the 4th of November 2018. The Artistic Director of the Festival is Julius Kalmar. The workshops will be calibrated on different levels. All amateur orchestras and/or individual musicians are welcome
  2. The Cambristi-Milano annual Chamber Music Workshop will take place on July 14th and 15th, 2017 at Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi of Como. This workshop aims to offer to amateur musicians from Italy and from all over the world the possibility to study and play together in Italy under the guide of renowned international professionals.

Associated Chamber Music Players

For many amateur musicians, orchestral playing is our first experience of making music together. What could be more thrilling than being immersed in the sound of a symphony from within the ranks of the orchestra?

It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I discovered the joy of making music together purely for our own enjoyment, in smaller, more intimate chamber music groups at home. Chamber music presents different challenges from orchestral playing – first of all, there is no conductor, so each player may be called upon to lead and cue the others depending on the flow of the music. Second, each player has a unique part to play, although chamber musicians are by no means soloists. Listening, communicating and watching each other are vitally important and bring their own reward by forging deeper connections between fellow musicians.

ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players,, like WFAO, is an international non-profit organization that connects musicians who are interested in playing chamber music purely for pleasure. Established 70 years ago in 1947 by Leonard Strauss, an American businessman who wanted to find people to play with on his travels, today ACMP has 3000 members all around the world.

If you are interested in finding people in your area who want to play chamber music, ACMP would love to hear from you. Membership is only $25 per year and comes with a host of benefits including access to our member directory and chamber music workshop guide, as well as discounts on instrument insurance, sheet music and stand lights. For more information on chamber music and ACMP please visit our website at

– Janet White, Chair ACMP April 2017

Seoul International Community Orchestra Festival

The 4th Seoul International Community Orchestra Festival

(Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul, 2017.9.16 Sat – 9. 24 Sun) 

Orchestra for All

On the initiative of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and the Korean Amateur Musicians’Association (KOAMA), the Seoul Community Orchestra Festival was launched in 2014 and brought 2200 citizens, ‘amateur-musicians‘, on stages of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.

The interest for the “Orchestra for All” festival increased every year.

In 2017 the Seoul Foundation for Arts & Culture was joining the organization and from now on the festival was not just for amateur musicians from Korea any longer; it became an international event for musicians from all over the world.

In spring of 2017 the Korean Amateur Musicians’ Association (KOAMA) and the Seoul Foundation of Culture and Arts (SFCA) announced the Seoul International Community Orchestra Festival (SICOF) for amateur musicians worldwide as an expansion of the ”Orchestra for All” music festival, to be hold in September 2017. Out of a few hundred applicants from 39 countries, the organizing committee selected – through video-applications – 63 musicians from 29 countries to be founding-member of the Seoul International Community Orchestra (SICO). Those founding-members are also representative for their country and community.

The musical direction is entrusted to the French conductor Antoine Marguier, artistic director and co-founder of the United Nations Orchestra in Geneva.

Without any doubt the SICO-orchestra was a tremendous success. 63 enthusiast instrumentalists and an enthusiast professional conductor sharing great masterpieces by Van Beethoven, Dvorak, Nielsen, Brahms and proving the significance of amateur arts by the power of music.

At the official ceremony on Thursday 21rst of September at 13:00 in the Seoul Citizens Hall the orchestra members presented the Seoul Community Arts Declaration (see attachment). A joint declaration, consisting of 10 key-issues, which are basic for community arts.

But SICOF, Orchestra for All 2017 was more than only one International Community Orchestra. Numerous Korean community orchestras could present their program, 3 orchestras from abroad were invited – the orchestra of the Federation of Japan Amateur Orchestras, the North Devon Sinfonia (United Kingdom) and the Recycled Orchestra from Cateura or Landfill Harmonic (Paraguay) – and finally there was the Asian United Orchestra. Following the words of the mayor of Seoul 4.400 participants of 70 groups from 31 countries were present.

The official opening on Sunday 17/09 at the Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul was a united performance of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura (Paraguay) and 1000 student representatives from 435 Korean youth orchestras. A few hours later, on the stage of the Sejong Grand Theater, – after their separate performances – the Recycled Orchestra united with the Seoul Student Philharmonic Orchestra.

One week later on Sunday 24/09 at the very last performance of the festival the Seoul Civic Philharmonic Orchestra brought a united performance with the Seoul International Community Orchestra.

This list of facts can sound a little bit dazzling but it proves the importance and the need for all citizens – here amateur-musicians-, to join in community arts. I would like to quote LEE Sung-Yeop, President of the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts: There is no denying that it (= community arts) made everyone in the community happier. I would like to applaud all the amateur-musicians for their passion and drive which enables them to realize their dreams through music.

This first international festival was a Korean initiative. WFAO will continue and increase his contribution in close harmony with the local organizers in the common interest of all amateur-musicians in their communities worldwide.

– Alex Van Beveren

Read more on the facebook pages of SICOF,

Orquestra Académica Portuguesa

The Orquestra Académica Portuguesa invites WFAO members to their festival orchestra from July 24th – 30th. Please see their invitation, and apply in the linked form here.

Taking place in the emblematic concert hall of the University of Lisbon (Aula Magna – 600 seats) this first meeting will be conducted by José Eduardo Gomes and Diogo Ribeiro. The program includes Beethoven’s Coriolanus ouverture, the work Eco by composer / conducter Diogo Ribeiro and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony. The schedule is daily from 10 am to 13 and 14 to 19. The total fee is 75€ per person. In terms of accommodation there is a free-of-fee option in a secondory school nearby (bring your own sleeping bag and inflatable matrass) or a non-included hotel option. Transportation is also not included in the fee. Minimum age 18.
Come and join us for an amazing week of superb music. Please enrol until July 15 and bring your own note stand. After validating your enrolment we will send you the payment details. See you in Lisbon!