64th International Rostrum of Composers – Media Advisory

Paris/Palermo, May 1, 2017.  Rostrum+ is an EU co-funded project that aims to promote contemporary classical music and strengthen this sector in Europe and beyond. It does so by exploring innovative strategies to develop audiences, promote new music, enhance the capacity and skills of radio professionals and inspire cooperation between musicians, higher music education institutions and broadcasting companies throughout Europe and across the globe.

Rostrum+ takes its roots in the International Rostrum of Composers (IRC), which is an international forum of representatives from broadcasting organisations who come together for the purpose of exchanging and broadcasting contemporary music. Building upon this existing foundation, the Rostrum+ project has been introducing since its launch in 2015 new activities that connect with other operators of the genre, the end goal being the expansion and durable growth of the contemporary music sector all over the globe.

A flagship project of the International Music Council (IMC), the IRC was launched in 1954 and will be hosted this year for the first time in Italy, co-organized with the Conservatory Vincenzo Bellini in the framework of the celebrations of this institution’s 400th anniversary.

Over the past decades, the IRC has become the most important platform for the promotion of contemporary music via radio broadcast while offering a unique forum for professional exchange among radio music producers and presenters. Its central purpose, supported by the European Broadcasting Union, is to provide contemporary musical creations the largest possible number of broadcasts worldwide.

During the event in Palermo, contemporary music producers from 29 national radio networks from four continents will present some 60 works composed within the five years preceding the Rostrum. After having listened to these works, the assembly of delegates will select and recommend the most distinctive works in two categories: ‘general’ and ‘young composers under 30’. These and other works will be presented in concerts and broadcast during the year by the participating and other interested radio stations. In this way, these works will reach billions of listeners.

For instance, the works presented at the 2016 Rostrum received almost 800 broadcasts – one of the highest recorded broadcast rates ever – by the participating radio networks and other broadcasting organizations from Australia to Mexico.
Moreover, since the launch of the Streaming Week in 2015, presented works have been offered on freely accessible streaming more than 4000 times.

In its 64-year history, the IRC has revealed the emergence of many of the world’s most gifted composers whilst they are still young. Famous composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Luigi Nono and Murray Schafer, had their first international successes when they were presented at the Rostrum.

As part of Rostrum+, this year’s IRC edition will open its doors to the public on Wednesday May 17th (at La Feltrinelli bookstore, Via Cavour, 133 at 18:00) with IRCLab: Nuove Ricette Musicali (New musical recipes). Isabella Vasilotta, artistic director of the Orléans International Piano Festival, will guide the audience in discovering contemporary music through the creations of renowned chefs with the exceptional cooperation of Ernst Knam, the king of chocolate, who will present a new creation especially made for the occasion.

La Feltrinelli bookstore will also be host – from Monday May 15 to Friday May 19 (from 11:00 to 18:00) – to IRCSound, a listening station offering the public the opportunity to discover IRC history as well as presented works.
The Rostrum sessions will be chaired by Evert van Berkel, Producer at Swedish Radio.

This year’s selection of the Rostrum will be announced at a press conference to be held on May 19th at 18:00 at the Scarlatti Music Hall of the Bellini Conservatory.


For media enquiries:
Davide Grosso, International Music Council