UNESCO places a high value on the campaign #WindowsOfMusicAndHope, launched on March 26 through the digital channels of “Llíria City of Music”, by widely broadcasting it by means of its main official channels and making it public all over the world in its four main languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. In such initiative, musicians, professors and students from Llíria let the “Ninth Symphony” play from their windows and balconies as symbol of unity among people and cultures and as a breath of hope in the middle of the health crisis. The action, promoted from Llíria, was carried out in a coordinated way with Spanish Creative Cities such as Dénia, Terrassa, Burgos and Bilbao, and at an international level with other Creative Cities such as Chennai (India), Katowice (Poland), Leiria (Portugal) and Mannheim (Germany).
From the direction of the Creative Cities Network, Llíria has been congratulated in an effusive letter “due to its valuable contribution and solidarity in such difficult times”. The official website of UNESCO has further published an exhaustive article about Llíria and its initiative, which can be reached in the various languages of the news section of its official website: https://en.unesco.org/news/windowsofmusicandhope-lliria-unesco-creative-city-music. The article begins by placing value on the historic Edetanian musical tradition: “Llíria, in Spain, a UNESCO Creative City of Music since 2019, has a long-standing musical history that dates back to the 3rd century BC. Today, Llíria is recognized around the world for its music, a fundamental part of its cultural identity. UNESCO continues by contextualizing thee moment in which the initiative was launched: “In response to the confinement of Spain’s inhabitants to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Llíria, through its social media campaign #WindowsOfMusicAndHope, aims to spread a message of hope while raising awareness on the importance of staying at home. It uses music to unite people in these troubled times and help alleviate the difficulties faced due to social distancing measures”. The article concludes by underscoring the media attention raised by the event: “The campaign has gathered significant attention from local and national media which broadcast live the campaign events through digital and traditional media channels. Being popular amongst the youth, hundreds of videos interpreting Beethoven’s ninth symphony can be found on popular social networks”.
For the mayor of Llíria, Manuel Civera, this recognition means “the confirmation that Llíria and its citizens meet the expectations of what being an active part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents”: “Since we were designated, we have taken ownership of fulfilling the mission coming from UNESCO and its objectives. In this situation of global uncertainty, we wished to launch a message of union among cultures, symbolized by Beethoven’s figure. A call for hope by inviting to stand together in the face of a problem that affects the whole globe. And as it could not be otherwise, we launched it through music, the essence that best defines us”. Civera expresses once again his gratitude to all the participants of this initiative, citizens as well as institutions: “Our people are wonderful; they have even in the hardest moments shown their most supportive version. Sincere appreciation to all the musicians, professionals, students and amateurs that took part in the initiative, not only from Llíria but also from the rest of the cities, and to all the institutions that supported us to reach a maximum spread. It is marvellous to get such compliments from such an organism as it is UNESCO, for it internationally recognizes us thanks to the best values of our society and to our own cultural identity”.
From “Llíria City of Music”, participatory initiatives continue to be undertaken during the State of Alarm. “We are Culture” encourages people to keep the spirit and practice of culture alive even in this time of confinement. The chief directors of the Banda Primitiva and the Unió Musical, the directors of the Music Conservatories of Valencia and Llíria, and several prominent figures such as the designer Francis Montesinos, the sculptor Rodolfo Navarro, the tenor Javier Palacios or the actor Carles Castillo, amongst others, have joined the initiative by sending their videos in which they encouraged citizens to stay at home but without forgetting the significance of music and arts. This week has also been launched “Llíria City of Music Classics”, in which one of the best concerts of the musical entities of Llíria, selected by themselves, will be daily offered through YouTube and social networks. Some of these concerts were only available so far in DVD limited editions. This way, they are within the reach of a great local, national and international audience as a further means to maintain the required isolation while enjoying high quality music.