Tiago de Oliveira Pinto | Foto: Guido Werner
UNESCO teaching chair installed at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar and Friedrich Schiller University Jena
The UNESCO has given the teaching chair for Transcultural Music Research at the joint Institute of Musicology at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena the title UNESCO Chair on Transcultural Music Studies. It is the twelfth UNESCO chair in Germany, which collaborates with over 700 chairs in 124 countries in a worldwide network to realise UNESCO objectives and to move forward on the Global Sustainability Agenda. The chair in Weimar represents the first UNESCO Chair in the field of transcultural musicology in the world. The professor who occupies the chair is Prof. Dr. Tiago de Oliveira Pinto.
The UNESCO Chair, with its headquarters in Weimar, researches music presentations in their sociocultural, historical and global contexts. In accordance with the UNESCO convention for the preservation of immaterial cultural heritage, the focus is on the musicians themselves as the interpreters of the performing arts. The chair’s research is interdisciplinary, practice- and project-oriented. The emphases are defined together with the practicing musicians whose music tradition is being researched. In the process, the opportunities and challenges that are associated with the recognition of music traditions as immaterial cultural heritage for the transfer and valorisation of forms of expression are subject to examination.
"Musical activities are a medium of communication and mutual recognition across borders. At the same time, music enables direct access to local identity and cultural diversity," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Christoph Wulf, Vice-President of the German UNESCO Commission. "With its expertise in the area of transcultural music research, the UNESCO Chair supports local institutions such as cultural organisers, universities, teaching chairs, museums, archives and artists in countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Brazil, Thailand or Cuba. The projects that are realised support local initiatives by making immaterial cultural heritage visible in the countries themselves," Wulf continues.
"The distinction as a UNESCO Chair is not only a great tribute to the research, teaching and international projects our chair has accomplished in the past, but it also emphasises how important research has become in a social sense," explains Prof. Dr. Tiago de Oliveira Pinto, the present occupant of the chair. "It is especially important that this newly installed chair is part of the most important musicological institute in Germany, because it means we are in contact with all approaches of musicological research," Pinto continues. "The UNESCO Chair makes it clear that we are leaving the theoretical ivory tower and setting out towards international, project-based and practice-oriented music research. Thus, we no longer dedicate our sole attention to the musical product itself, but also to the person who produces it, as well as his or her environment. In accordance with the UNESCO cultural conventions, our work will also always be influenced by the necessity of social, ecological and economical sustainability," Pinto concludes.
The new UNESCO Chair, like all existing chairs, fortifies academic cooperation with universities and other research institutions in newly industrialized and developing countries, but also within Germany and Europe. More than 700 UNESCO Chairs in 124 countries cooperate within the network of UNESCO Chairs at the present time, in order to anchor the objectives of UNESCO in science and education. There are twelve UNESCO Chairs in Germany.