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English EMC members bid farewell to long-standing EMC President Ian Smith

EMC members bid farewell to long-standing EMC President Ian Smith

In the frame of the EMC Annual Meeting of members on 6 June 2021 the EMC members warmly thanked Ian Smith for his commitment for the European Music Council during the past 9 years on the Board of the EMC, of which he served 7 years as EMC President.

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On behalf of the EMC members, former EMC President, Stef Coninx, paid tribute to Ian’s time at the EMC with an informative, emotional and very personal speech. For those who were not able to join, we have selected some highlights of Stef’s praise:

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“A life in music – a life with music – a life for music

You stopped playing music professionally at a relatively young age but you have always remained a musician at heart first and foremost, and you have never lost the humour that goes with it. “Trust me – I am a musician” is still one of your favourite one-liners. […]

But a musician is also human being and the fact that you have always remained a musician has helped you throughout your career to put people at the centre of everything you do: the musician, the composer, the music lover and certainly also the many people who work in the music sector in one way or another and who are part of what we sometimes call ‘the content value chain’. What is this ‘value’? For you, it is always the value of what music can mean for us humans – music as a source of beauty and inspiration, music as a tool for social cohesion, music as the ultimate carrier of human emotions. […]

Many thanks for staying young at heart and for including the young generation in the EMC work and introducing the EMC Fellowship programme. […]

Many years ago in Istanbul, you were elected to the EMC board – as one says ‘in absentia’ – and unfortunately now, you will step down as President – also ‘in absentia’ – but we are all looking forward to the day that we can meet in person and shake hands and hug and kiss again.”

Stef’s words were followed by thanks from Simone Dudt who expressed gratitude to Ian on behalf of the EMC Secretariat: “We have shared a lot of ups and downs and the circles of life: births, deaths, and sicknesses – and especially pictures of children and grandchildren. You have always been there for us personally and professionally.”

Even if Ian has no longer an official role or title within the EMC, he confirmed to be committed to the work of the EMC. Members, Secretariat and Board alike look forward to staying in touch.

The Annual Meeting also thanked Eirik Birkeland, who served on the Board for the past three years, and who stepped down from this function at the EMC Annual Meeting. Eirik contributed greatly to the future advancement of the EMC through his continuous dedication for strategic development and as chair of the EMC election committee in 2021.

Further, EMC internal auditor Daniel Kellerhals stepped down after 12 years of checking the EMC accounts every Spring. Daniel was thanked for his longstanding efforts for the EMC and his diligent and constructive way to comment on the overall financial situation of the EMC which was always a good stimulus for further discussion.

The members of the EMC elected a new Board and with this a new President, Victorial Liedbergius (NO), a new Vice President, Audrey Guerre (FR), and Willem van Moort (NL) as Treasurer. The Executive Board is joined by the following Board members: Joanna Grotkowska (PL), Michalis Karakatsanis (CY), Harrie van den Elsen (NL) as well as David Zsoldos (HU).You will find more information on the Board here.

To close with Ian’s words: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have such a strong new Board and I would like to congratulate Victoria, Audrey and Willem and the new Board and I would like to say that I will always be there to support you, the new Board and the EMC.”

THE EUROPEAN MUSIC COUNCIL

The European Music Council (EMC) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the development and promotion of all kinds of music and to being involved in the fields of music education, creation, performance, documentation, management, publishing and heritage in Europe.

The EMC contributes to a better understanding amongst people about their different cultures and promotes the right of different musical cultures to coexist. It provides real value to its members and the broader sector through the analysis of policy developments and the formulation of policy statements, capacity building and knowledge exchange as well as networking opportunities within and beyond the music sector on an international platform. As part of the International Music Council (IMC), the EMC strategies and actions honour the 5 IMC Music Rights.

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