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26 March 2012

News from Geneva: The United Nations Orchestra Gives Its First Performance in Victoria Hall

The newly-formed United Nations Orchestra of Geneva gave its first performance in Victoria Hall, Geneva, on 16 March 2012 to a full audience of UN employees and dignitaries from Belgium, Sierra Leone and Switzerland.  Many of the 45 musicians work every day at the United Nations and other international organizations. 

“Since music is a universal language, what could be better than an orchestra to create a multicultural bridge and to strengthen links within international Geneva? Who better than the staff of international organizations themselves, many of whom are talented amateur musicians, to constitute an orchestra representing their institutions and the ideals they promote?”

The musicians enjoy playing in a symphony orchestra and are ready to rise to the challenge. Outside musicians may also join and are always welcome. The direction is assured by the young French conductor, Antoine Marguier.

The concert was dedicated to children all over the world.  Proceeds from the concert on 16 March went to "Education pour Tous" in Sierra Leone to support an elementary school. A moment of silence was held in memory of the 22 children from Belgium and the Netherlands and the 6 adults killed in the crash of a bus near Sierre, Switzerland, on 13 March.

The program was a celebration of Spring including Beethoven's Egmont Overture and his Triple Concerto, followed by the joyful 8th Symphony of Dvorak. The three soloists were:  Béatrice Berrut, piano; Lorenzo Gatto, violin; and Camille Thomas, cello. Their dynamic performance was met by rounds of applause.

(Thank you to the member of the orchestra who wrote this article.)

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