It is our great honor to present to you the taste of the harmony of our friendship between us ... members of the G20
Magelang (ANTARA) - "It is our great honor to present to you the taste of the harmony of our friendship between us ... members of the G20," Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim stated at the G20 Orchestra.

G20 Orchestra, a newly founded orchestra by Indonesia, features some of the world's best musicians in its world premiere at Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, on September 12, 2022.

The music event is an orchestra formed and initiated by Indonesia that chairs this year's G20 Presidency.

The Orchestra -- initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology -- is also aimed at promoting and enhancing the domestic classical music industry.

G20 Orchestra Artistic Director Ananda Sukarlan noted that the importance of the G20 Orchestra is to showcase that Indonesia can finally be seen by the world as a country that not only has various ethnic cultures but also artistic culture that is at par with other countries.

The Orchestra has also become an arena for the best musicians from G20 countries to showcase harmony together through music in an effort to recover the arts and culture sector together in accordance with the theme of Indonesia's G20 presidency, "Recover together, recover stronger."

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Unite differences
According to Sukarlan, the G20 Orchestra is intended to be a musical tool that can unite differences since the orchestra will be performed not only by Indonesian musicians but also by those from countries around the world.

"Given that we involve musicians from various backgrounds and different cultures, also speak different languages. However, in the end, music is a universal language, so music can also unite differences," he stated.

He remarked that music is not only about entertainment but can also be a tool of diplomacy and communication to boost people-to-people contact among countries.

In fact, the Orchestra has involved musicians from 18 of the G20 countries.

Russia is one of the countries that sent its best orchestra player, Antonina Popras, to be part of the G20 Orchestra.

In addition, Russia sent Nikita Loginov, a skilled trumpet player from the National Youth Symphony Orchestra whose members were selected through a rigorous audition.

Loginov shared his experience about participating in the G20 Orchestra.

"It is an amazing experience to take part in the G20 Orchestra. There are so many young musicians here. All of them are very talented. It is a privilege for me to play with them on one stage," Loginov remarked.

He also admired the concept of the Orchestra that he believes has shown that "music has wonderful power to unite people."

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"We play music made by composers from different countries, and we are (the musicians) from different countries too. However, we play together! It does not matter where you are from, who you are, what is your nationality, what is your social status et cetera. We need to appreciate this opportunity," he stated.

Apart from Russia, Argentina also sent its musician. The country succeeded in convincing flute player Santiago Clemenz to come to Indonesia and participate in the G20 Orchestra.

Although he is already a principal player, Clemenz continues to tour as a soloist in various orchestras. In Indonesia, he performed solo in the work of "The Voyage to Marege."

Furthermore, Sukarlan said with the holding of the G20 Orchestra, Indonesia has opened a new chapter for the G20 culture ministers’ meeting, where around 40 young world musicians joined 30 Indonesian musicians to collaboratively present classical music to the world at Borobudur Temple, which is also a world cultural heritage.

"Those musicians ... they make music together, explore each other's culture ... they exchange ideas about the future of the music industry, ranging from employment issues in the music world, communication and the relevance of music to audiences and the wider community to issues of diversity and inclusion," he explained.

He further expounded that all issues discussed are cross-generational and cross-political views and coming from different cultural backgrounds, gender, race, and nation.

Such an experience proves that music, which can serve as a universal language, can be a unifying medium.

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Indonesia's Legacy
Sukarlan also expressed hope that the G20 Orchestra would become Indonesia's legacy in the history of classical music in the international arena.

"The G20 Orchestra might be Indonesia's legacy for the future G20 presidency and can be a disruption in the classical music world where the program is not merely focused on 'the old same' works, but there is something new and fresh in the program content that involves various issues," he remarked.

The orchestra also aims to invite the public to get to know better about classical music that continues to be relevant from year to year.

"Learning music for me is also about studying history. This documentation (of G20 Orchestra) can be studied and make us more aware of what we need to do in the future," Sukarlan remarked.

Moreover, the G20 Orchestra promotes collaboration and gender equality in the world of art, especially classical music.

"This orchestra must not be ordinary, it must make a breakthrough and show something new. For instance, gender equality, where the world of classical music is still considered ‘very male,’ so we involve more female musicians in it," he explained.

According to the Indonesian composer and pianist, the orchestra's gender-equality target of achieving a balanced involvement of women and men in the event has been nearly accomplished with 26 female musicians and 34 male musicians joining it.

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The G20 orchestra -- whose world premiere at Borobudur Temple featured some of the world's best musicians -- also involved several young talents.

"Since we want to innovate, we need young people to be involved in conducting this event," Sukarlan said.

The Orchestra also raised the issue of disability and abides by the Indonesian G20 Presidency slogan of "Recover Together, Recover Stronger".

"Finally, the G20 Orchestra, which was initiated through Indonesia’s G20 presidency, has become a symbol and the beginning of other (expected) G20 orchestras in the following years for the presidency of other G20 member countries," according to Hilmar Farid, Director General of Culture of Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.

More importantly, the G20 Orchestra event is expected to serve as a source of encouragement for artists and cultural activists as well as a driver for the recovery of cultural arts and creative economy sectors.

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Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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