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A few words from IYMF President

Crises teach us that there are always solutions to overcome them, but above all they are a life lesson. This unprecedented coronavirus crisis is forcing us to isolation, to interrogation, to questioning our value systems. It is a “freeze frame” where we must understand how we came to this point, and what needs to be created, invented, transformed, so that sooner or later we will not be confronted again with the same causes that will inevitably provoke the same crises, or amplify them.

In this context, artists have an important role to play, particularly as awakeners of consciousness, and also as soul healers. Through their art and their connection to the most subtle energies that surround us and that they grasp through music, song, dance, … they contribute to awakening the sense of beauty and the meaning of life in each of us, especially in the hearts of children, who are more receptive to this type of energy. They help to keep us awake, to warn us of any drift that would jeopardize the fragile balance of our planet. By making us vibrate, they help to keep us alive. Life, which is precisely what we all need, and of which we probably neglected the ephemeral side.

After this crisis, we will need artists to show us how to live again, more in line with our consciences. We will need the artists to heal our souls wounded by sadness, fear, anger… energies that will weaken our immune system even more if we are not careful. This is why it is fundamental that the work of our artists be valued, and that as soon as possible they have the means to work again in schools, in concert halls, in the most diverse places where everyone can be nourished with their positive and constructive vibrations in order to develop all together more humanity, solidarity and sharing.

This crisis will pass, but let us hope that it will open us to new dimensions and new possibilities, where art will be at the centre of our concerns and our needs, like a living and invigorating food, transmitting joy and love, the best antidote to fear and selfishness.

Coen Teulings
President of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation

Women singing for peace

Today is the International Women’s Day and we would like to pay tribute to those women, whoever and wherever they are, who stand against the terror and fight for their rights.

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation has a long tradition of organizing concerts and stage productions delivering strong messages. Utopia or not, we still believe that music remains an extraordinary and essential vector for harmony and tolerance between populations and people. We leverage our strenghts to bring together musicians and artists from very different cultures, backgrounds and horizons. That’s when unexpected and magical outcomes often appear.

The productions of concerts allow for an extraordinary experience of the arts but stir reflection about one’s own perspective and wider meanings. 

Hence the concert “Voices for Peace” at the Cirque Royal in Brussels in 1997 featuring seven women from areas of the world in which poverty or oppression were facts of life. Seven women who sang for peace and gave a beautiful lesson of humanity and dignity, accompanied by the traditional instruments of their culture.

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation invited seven singers from all over the world to come and sing peace at the Cirque Royal. The choice of performers and their originis was no coincidence since the omnipresent message of this evening was to pay tribute to these women, whoever they are, who oppose terror.

It might seem a little utopian – voices as beautiful as they are were never able to silence weapons – but when the moving Algerian Houria Aïchi began to sing the sound of the flute and bendir, you did not have to be an expert in international politics to feel the pain of an entire peaple.

The bubbling gypsy Esperanza Fernandez, the Tibetan Mantras of Yang Du Tso, the Israeli-Yemeni singer and crusader for cultural harmony Noa, the spokesperson for millions of Amerindians Luzmila Carpio, the legendary Iranian singer Marzieh, and Miriam Makeba, a symbol of the struggle against the apartheid irradiated the Cirque Royal.

For the final, the seven singers all united under Yehudi Menhin’s direction and delivered a powerful message for peace.

They are the first voices that we listen to, we, the newborn children. We have heard them before, when our live was under preparation, and maybe the reason we are trying so hard to meet them is because we want to hear them better

Yehudi Menuhin

MUS-E Portugal back in Leiria!

Yes! After nine years of absence, MUS-E is back to Leiria, a city located in the center of Portugal. With the support of the local Municipality, MUS-E is back in two schools: E.B.1 Marinheiros and E.B.1 Quinta do Alçada, both in the School Group of Marrazes, from January 2020 onwards.

With two weekly sessions and five artists doing Music, Dance, and Theatre, they are working with 14 classes. They are multicultural classes, due to ethnic diversity and immigration. The teaching community is focused and enthusiastic about MUS-E, we wish MUS-E Leira all the success!

MUS-E Portugal is coordinated by the Associação Yehudi Menuhin Portugal and has the objectives of developing the artistic areas in primary public schools, sensitising children for the enjoyment of art and promoting their access to diversified forms of expression and communication. Privileging pedagogy based on cooperation, on individual responsibility, on respect of differences and on valorisation of the artistic contributions of every culture, MUS-E Portugal aims to contribute to the prevention of violence, racism and educational and social exclusion.


In Portugal, the regular sessions of MUS-E are integrated in the curriculum activities of the schools, and tend to occupy, during the whole school year, 10% of the total amount of curriculum time (three 45 minutes sessions, per week, in each class). These sessions consider the cultural diversity of each school population and are distributed by three main areas: Musical Expression; Movement and Dance and Dramatic Expression.


MUS-E Portugal also promotes very diversified initiatives in the schools and areas where the MUS-E is implanted as the organisation and participation in several events in schools and communities, the realisation of activities involving interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work, the realisation of sessions involving parents and children all together, the realisation of artistic and pedagogic workshops for teachers and other members of the school staff. In order to allow the share of experiences and the training of artistic animators, MUS-E Portugal organises, each year, the National Encounter of Artists and Animators of MUS-E.


In 2019/2020, MUS-E Portugal operate, in six schools, allocated in four different regions, Évora, Leiria, Lisboa and Oeiras.

New Worlds Project with Altea Narici

Thanks to the great support of the Friends of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, IYMF launches the first experience of supporting a project of a young artist. Altea Narici participated in multidisciplinary artistic residency organized by IYMF and we have decided to help her achieve her own project that will boost her professional experience in the music sector. 

Altea Narici

Altea is 24, she was born in Italy and she likes to be referred to as an artist, traveller-performer and community engager. She holds a Bachelor in Psychology and a Master Diploma in Cello from the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Altea has been playing in orchestras and ensembles for most of her life. Altea sings, plays and composes while traveling and solo performing. Her music is inspired by traditional songs and by the natural environment, and she collaborates with researchers in a joint project of marine science outreach. She loves to discover music and stories from different cultures as a source of inspiration for her own work. She was recently invited for her first solo residencies at the Celacanto Cultural Centre in Puglia (Italy) and at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Oregon (USA).

New Worlds Project

Following the invitation to be Artist in residence by the Sikta Centre for Art and Ecology in the USA, Altea imagined to expand and deepen this experience and research to more native cultures, traditional music, storytelling and arts, as well as to explore natural environments, reflect about border-crossing social themes and engage with local communities in Canada and Mexico. She will offer one community event per month (performances, workshops, talks or other forms of encounters) and focus on creativity and artistic expression with people of all ages in different settings (schools, healthcare institutions, cultural centers) and on the connection with the natural environments explored through art. During this journey, she will act as young artist ambassador of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and strive to tell the story and share the values of the Foundation, which has done a lot for her artistic and personal development supporting her growth and widening her perspectives.

How will it boost her work and career?

The research and interaction with local communities and stunning natural environments are at the core of her work of composition and creation of her first Album. It will allow her to define more precisely her own style and approach to invention and bring her skills and work to a new level of complexity. The interaction with artists from the Sikta Centre residency and local artists and communities across West Canada and Mexico will offer her different perspectives on artistic, traditional and community approaches.

Stay tuned to follow the rest of her adventure!

The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation supports young emerging artists

Since its creation, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation has been fuelled by continuous collaborations with international artists of very diverse cultures. It is one of its greatest strengths and anyone who has attended and seen one of its productions can testify. These precious artistic ties and relationships have encouraged the Foundation to build a network of artist ambassadors who carry and embody the values of Yehudi Menuhin, which are still very much needed today. Yet the IYMF artists community is bigger than that! Indeed, IYMF has also developed itself as an excellent training provider for young artists, most notably through the organization of unique residencies and masterclasses. These residencies are designed to encourage the exchange of knowledge and good practices between artists and enable the co-creation of new works. While strengthening its network of artist ambassadors, IYMF leverages its strength to support those talented young artists who are the bearers of our values and the intercultural mediators of tomorrow.

IYMF is dedicated to support original projects developed by these artists and therefore to participate to the development of their professional careers.

This would not be possible without the great support of the Friends of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.

IYMF launches the first experience by supporting Altea Narici, a young artist who participated in multidisciplinary artistic residency organized by IYMF.

Stay tuned to follow the rest of her adventure!

Projects by MUS-E Belgium

Learn about some cool and interesting projects MUS-E Belgium has been working on recently!


Hotel Wiels

Hotel Wiels is a project by MUS-E artists Hanna Ravnsborg and Maud Lefever in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Centre Wiels in Brussels. Students from the 5th and 6th grade of elementary school “The Puzzle” were given a model of the Gabriel Kuri exhibition as a gift. They were inspired to reflect about their own utopian hotel. It resulted in the beautiful model of Hotel Wiels with a cinema, a swimming pool and above all lots of space for people and art.

Identity Affairs


Identity Affairs is a project in which visual artist Elias Ghekiere and thirteen young people from a reception class for foreign-language newcomers (OKAN) in Hasselt went in search of their individuality, imagination and creativity. Their exhibition shows the work process and the creations. Identity Affairs was aimed at discovering the possibilities of materials, as a possibility of (non-verbal) expression. As an invitation to meet …

Gids off – Guide off


In Gids Off – Guide Off pupils of the OKAN class at VTI Kortrijk explore the history of the different swimming pools of the city. They could hardly believe the oldest pool opened as early as in 1867. All their research will result in an art exhibition and a tour guide on Heritage Day in April 2020. This event is held annually and invites everybody to interact with cultural heritage in his or her own daily environment in a contemporary, qualitative and meaningful manner. MUS-E Belgium is a partner since 2016.

IYMF at the 20th anniversary of the “Plateforme mineurs en exil”

In November 2019, the Plateforme mineurs en exil celebrated its 20th anniversary. The International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation is and has been contributing to the inclusion of vulnerable groups in society and represent and encourage the expression of all the cultures present in Europe. We therefore joined the Plateforme mineurs en exil for its anniversary and participated with their members and partner organisations to policy debates on the future opportunities and challenges for children in migration. Of course, an anniversary cannot be celebrated without music. We therefore involved in the event Hussein Rassim (musician of our project “Homelands, places of belonging”) and Juliette Lacroix for a musical journey from the East to the West.

IYMF and the BCO at the Spanish Embassy in Belgium

Art brings people of all kinds together by MUS-E Hungary

Community building in Budapest

Since the MUS-E program was launched in 1994 by Yehudi Menuhin, the targeted groups of the transcultural social-artistic programme were defined according to the “CAT model”, as Children, Artists and Teachers, those individuals that actually take part and benefit directly from the artistic workshops. As time went by, and different national and international projects were born and implemented, we had to realise that the primary agent of socialization, namely the family cannot be excluded from our approach, if we do want to create long-lasting results in the improvement of well-being, and equal opportunities for vulnerable children.

The idea of thinking in the scope of communities is not revolutionary in social work, but to implement it with the help of the MUS-E programme is new and faces many challenges. First of all, we have to realise that parents many times show a lack of interest in the school-life of their children, and it is very hard to attract them and convince them to participate. We had to think and act together with school directors, teachers and artists, gaining inspirations from the best practices of other relevant programs, about what activities could gain their attention and willingness to participate. When we started to work in a school in the socialist type neighbourhood of Budapest in 2018, and our office also moved there, for the first time in our operation we could start dreaming about an own community place, where in the future we can organise family events, workshops and also summer camps for children. We spent one year to build closer, tight and trustful relation with the school, and this autumn we already organised our international meeting of WAC project in a way, that international participants left their creative footprint in the shape of a community painting for the children, that we further developed with parents and children in an open-afternoon joyful session in November. For our biggest surprise, all the targeted 25 kids could enjoy the presence of their parents and siblings. Our aim, for which we want to build a fundraising campaign in 2020, is to co-create the space itself – that is in ruins now – with families, including hand-painted walls using the community paintings, a workshop-room and a renovated child-friendly open-air courtyard. We want create opportunities where families can gain new ideas and real experiences about how to spend time together in a meaningful, free and creative way, and to increase the opportunity that a real and helping community can be formed also in our age and in city-settlements.

The real value of international dimension by MUS-E Hungary

We all Count and Arte por la Convivencia – International Meetings in Budapest

Following the very successful and inspiring international meeting of the We All Count project on 30th September and 1st October, MUS-E Hungary welcomed another international team in Budapest coming from six countries, in the framework of the Arte por la Convivencia- Art for living together project.

Why are these meetings so important? What is the real value behind? If we take at first the international scope, it is essential that those professionals: teachers, artists, school directors and representatives of municipalities, who work with great devotion for the same cause in different parts, in different communities of Europe can get-, think-, and share time together. For MUS-E Hungary it’s been a great opportunity to consider what elements we really want to show, what we really want to highlight about our working environment and approaches during these two days. We aimed to give a very deep and profound insight into the everyday life of one of our primary schools, located amongst the socialist-type-block-of-flats neighbourhood in Budapest. Beyond that, we wanted to demonstrate that a socially sensitive artistic program can only function sustainably in an institution, that believes in the necessity to bring non-formal, unique and diverse pedagogical approaches into the public educational system that truly needs reconsideration in its design of curricula and methodology. We also wanted to give opportunities for those teachers and pedagogical experts that contribute to the well-being and development of students and teachers with their special knowledge and experience. Such elements were the holistic approach of pedagogy, Delacato movement therapy, the proper integration of Autistic kids, and of course the MUS-E programme. Apart from all these, we created moments where the whole community could spend creative and joyful time together, therefore we organized an open workshop, where students, teachers, and the international team could create together wonderful natural Mandalas in the courtyard. At last but not least, for the children welcoming non-Hungarian speaking „strangers” is always a very exciting experience, that makes them vivid, open-minded and curious, an experience they may remember through the rest of their lives.

We would like to express our gratefulness for all those people who contributed with their knowledge, passion and heart to the implementation of the program.

IYMF presents “Al di là di Noi”

On the 9th of December 2019 at the Théâtre de l’Hôtel Plaza in Brussels, the IYMF presented its gala concert “Al di là di Noi”.

Since its creation in 1992 in Brussels, IYMF has used artistic expressions as a tool for bringing together the cultures of the world and has produced a European brand of high-level multicultural concerts, presenting unique stage concepts that combine different artistic forms in an innovative way. Since 1993, it has also established an informal arts education network in Europe called the MUS-E programme (600 artists from all disciplines and cultures working in more than 400 primary schools and reaching more than 30,000 children each year through their art) with the aim of encouraging the social inclusion of children from all cultures through the practice of art in all its forms.


These artistic, educational and cultural activities are unique in their development and are mutually enriched by the daily practice of artists in schools, their multicultural experience, the celebration on stage of the richness of cultures, and the reflection on cultural diversity that goes hand in hand with a reflection on the protection of these cultures and their enhancement.

In this spirit, on Monday 9 December 2019 in Brussels, our Foundation presented an original concert entitled “AL DI LA DI NOI” (beyond us), whose purpose is to illustrate on stage how the most elaborate classical music can open up to world music and create an inspiring exchange for musicians and the public, while highlighting the richness of each culture, thanks to the encounter of classical musicians and musicians from the Italian popular tradition. The concert included works by composers that Yehudi Menuhin particularly appreciated, such as Johann Sebastian Bach. It also opened up to the world of jazz that our Maestro had approached thanks to his friendship with Stéphane Grappelli, or to the seductive universe of Astor Piazzolla, reinterpreted by the violinist and guest of honour Alessandro Quarta. The concert was preceded by a reception and a dinner.

As part of this concert, IYMF partnered with Outhere Music and MUS-E Italia and received sponsorship from the Italian Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium. The event was attended by high representatives of the European institutions and other international personalities.

The Official Residence of the Spanish Embassy welcomes the Brussels Chamber Orchestra

“Los Mediodias de la Embajada” are a cycle of public diplomacy on science, art, and culture. On the 12th of December, they will host a presentation of European projects by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation at the Official Residence. The presentation will be followed by a concert offered by the IYMF orchestra in residence: the Brussels Chamber Orchestra composed of Nana Kawamura, David Wlodarczyk, Clément Holvoet, and Mario Villuendas.

The Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España celebrates its 20th anniversary!

On the special occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España, they publish a series of articles and interviews of people who mean or who have meant a lot to their Foundation. Enrique Baron, President of the Fundación Yehudi Menuhin España opens the series which also includes testimonies of artists and students of MUS-E in Spain. Marianne Poncelet, Executive Vice-President of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, wrote an article on the special bond she had with Yehudi Menuhin and their relationship to Spain.

“Se suceden innumerables imágenes en mi cabeza cuando asocio España a Yehudi Menuhin… son muchos recuerdos compartidos. Es por ello que hoy, veinte años más tarde, estoy orgullosa de constatar que los ideales de nuestro querido Maestro están integrados en la realidad de la España”.

Inauguration of the Promenade Yehudi Menuhin in Paris

The city of Paris has voted the attribution of “Promenade Yehudi Menuhin” to the street between the UNESCO and the avenue de Suffren in the 7th arrondissement.

The inauguration took place on Tuesday 1 October, in the Place de Fontenoy in front of the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, which he has brilliantly served. The date is significant at it is the International Day of music that Yehudi Menuhin himslef instituted when he was president of the UNESCO International Music Council.

This initiative was undertaken by Jean-Jacques Lafaye and Jorge Chaminé et the ceremony was attended by Yehudi Menuhin’s son Krov Menuhin. Among the audience were Renaud Capuçon (violinist) and Bruno Monsaingeon (filmmaker and musician), a delegation of Warner Music France and the president of Live Music Now France.

IYMF partner of the Leonardo 4 Children concert

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death (1519-2019) and 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989-2019), with a focus on art and science for children, the non-profit foundation “Carano 4 Children” launched the flagship initiative « Leonardo 4 Children » with the following objectives:

  • Stimulate the creativity and participation of European children and youth on art and science topics, inspired by the example of Leonardo da Vinci, to contribute to their balanced development and well-being;
  • Support children in need – primarily in developing countries with focus on orphans or abandoned children – to develop their artistic and scientific skills and develop their personality, and help them to overcome post-traumatic stress;
  • Create a cultural and solidarity link between children with higher and those with lower opportunities, such as between European children and children in developing countries outside Europe, showing that all children have similar potential to create and be “genius”.


With the support of UNESCO and under the high patronage of Her Majesty the Queen of Belgium, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Italian Embassy in Belgium, the French Embassy in Belgium, the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Tuscany, Lombardy and Center Val de Loire regions, this Leonardo 4 Children Concert is the flagship event of the non-profit initiative “Leonardo 4 Children”.

This event will allow raising funds for the music therapy program at Makani centers in Jordan that help Syrian refugee children as part of UNICEF’s Child Protection program.

The event will follow the European Education Summit held in Brussels on the same day. The programme includes: presentation of the UNICEF project supported, concert of classical music with the “viola organista” (Prof. Sławomir Zubrzycki), violin (Esther Abrami), piano and strings quartet, children’s choir of the European School of Brussels I, the fables of Leonardo de Vinci performed in classical music, and award ceremony to the winners of the European “Leonardo 4 Children” competitions.
These competitions ended in May 2019 and saw the extraordinary participation of 709 children and young people from 15 European countries: interpretation in comics illustrations of 12 fables of Leonardo da Vinci by children aged 6 to 12, interpretation of the same fables in music by young composers between the ages of 18 and 30 and integration of “Art & Science” by teenagers aged 13 to 18.

Director Stefano Cucci, orchestra Ennio Morricone;
“Viola organista” designed by Leonardo, played by prof. Sławomir Zubrzycki;
Violinist Esther Abrami;
Ensemble “Arietta: Jean-Michel Alexandre (1st violin), Elisabeth Detaille (2nd violin), Sigrid Keunen (alto), Bruno Ispiola (cello); Laurent Beekemans (piano);
European School Uccle Children’s Choir, director Pablo García;
Young violinist from Florence Leone Pini;
Young flute player from Loire Romane Guerber;
Soprano Sara Barakat;
Tenor Jeysson Estrella Diaz;
Presenters: Carmen Cutugno, Christian Galvez