European Music Council
December 15, 2020

A message from the EMC President

End of year greetings

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I would start by stating the obvious and that is that 2020 has been an extraordinary year for us all and especially for those of us working and participating in the music sector at every level. From early years education through to amateur, volunteer and professional engagement, the COVID-19 pandemic has missed no-one and has sadly taken many lives.
At the start of the enforced lockdowns that effected us all, I remember speaking with colleagues in Italy and Spain where the virus seemed to be spreading at a frightening rate, but now we see that its affect was global and that none of us have escaped across the whole of Europe.
During these difficult and challenging times, I have been delighted to see many of you participating in our many members’ lounges, the last of which was held only last week. We were also able to hold online sessions when we would have been meeting in Bonn for our own European Forum on Music last June in which I know many of you took part and accessed the expert panels that we were able to bring together. Perhaps we can celebrate Beethoven's 251st birthday in 2021! We also hope to be able to meet our fellows in person, who unfortunately could until now only benefit from their fellowship through online meetings and digital tools.
I should have stood down as President at the June Congress, but with the extension of the board mandate by one year, I am honoured to stay on until June 2021. It has always been a privilege to represent the European Music Council, to the best of my ability and I will always want to know, as I do now, that the organisation is strong and at the core of that strength are our members and our fantastic EMC team in Bonn, not forgetting my board colleagues too.
I am sure that you would join me in congratulating Simone, Ruth and our staff who have worked tirelessly in difficult circumstances to ensure that not only does the EMC remain a creditable and vitally important organisation within the European cultural arena, but as you will note on our website, fully engaged in significant projects and European programmes. I would cite our own European Agenda for Music and joint advocacy work with many other European cultural networks, alongside SHIFT and MOST as excellent examples of their continuing success on our behalf.
It simply remains for me to thank you all for your support and to wish you all a Very Peaceful and Happy Christmas wherever you spend it and with those members of your respective families that you are able and indeed safe to do so.
I am confident that we will all meet again in 2021.
Stay Safe and Well.
Ian Smith
President of the European Music Council
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