Istanbul, July 10 - The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today appointed Turkish musician Kudsi Ergüner, UNESCO Artist for Peace, at a ceremony held had the Congress Center in Istanbul (Turkey) following the opening ceremony of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee, which ends on 20 July.
Kudsi Ergüner is named in recognition of his efforts to promote the universal values of music, an essential instrument of dialogue between cultures, for his contribution to the protection of musical heritage, his support for the International Decade of the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) and his unwavering commitment to the ideals of the Organization.
During the ceremony, Director General Irina paid tribute to Mr. Ergüner’s efforts throughout his career to keep alive the musical heritage of his country. “Your life and work have been guided by a profound passion to bring the past to life, to share the wisdom and beauty of traditions, to pass their messages of peace and dialogue to current and future generations, to share the depth of Mevlevi Sufi music, building on Persian and Turkish traditions, mixing this with poetry, literature and living arts across the region,” she said.
Born in Turkey in 1952, Kudsi Ergüner is a musician, player of the ney (reed flute), composer, musicologist, teacher, author and translator. Trained by his father, Ulvi Ergüner, the last great master of the ney flute, he has given concerts all over the world and helped revive traditional musical trends. His collaborations with prestigious artists such as Peter Gabriel, Maurice Béjart, Peter Brook and Didier Lockwood helped to spread this music to Western audiences.
As a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Mr. Ergüner intends to work for the updating of the forgotten musical heritage.
"I'm an artist but also a man of action and I hope to share my actions in the framework of UNESCO alongside other Artists for Peace," he said.
UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to promote the message and UNESCO programs. UNESCO is working with them to increase public awareness regarding key development issues and the role of the Organization in these areas.