BUCHAREST, Romania, September 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The Prime Minister of Romania has announced government backing for a ground-breaking social integration project that uses choral music to bring together children from the country's disparate ethnic groups.
Cantus Mundi, the creation of internationally-renowned orchestra conductor Ion Marin, was formed two-and-a-half years ago on a voluntary basis, and has already seen the participation of 1,600 children from all walks of life. The idea of the project is to unite through music Romanian children from all ethnic groups, handicapped children including those suffering from Down's Syndrome, poor children and affluent children.
With a small but important subsidy from the Government, and with the cooperation of the Culture, Education and Development ministries, the project aims to reach 100,000 children in the coming three years.
"Cantus Mundi is a project that uses the power of music to create social integration," said Maestro Marin, during a nationally televised gala event that broadcast from the Romanian Parliament building in the capital of Bucharest.
"I'm extremely happy and proud that the Government of Romania has made Cantus Mundi a national project, financing it with a good budget, and hope this will also bring together diverse elements of our society," said Marin.
Taking the stage with his own daughter to officially endorse the project, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said: "The best thing anyone can do in life is to give opportunities to a child. All children should have equal opportunities."
"If Irina (his daughter) will ask me in ten years what is the best thing I've done as Prime Minister, I can tell you it's that I supported the project Cantus Mundi," he said.
In a nation in which social and ethnic divisions still run deep, Cantus Mundi is helping children of all backgrounds as well as those with disabilities such as downs syndrome and blindness.
Marin, who is a Visiting Conductor with the Hamburg Symphony, defected from Romania 30 years ago to escape the Ceaușescu regime and established himself as a conductor, at first in Vienna. But he says the fact that he could return to his home country and establish a project such as Cantus Mundi shows just how far Romania has come in 25 years since the end of Communism.
The televised concert ended with the European hymn "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven; a fitting finale said Marin, given his nation's place in the new Europe.
SOURCE Romania Monitor