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Musical patronage in the age of solidarity

Within cultural sponsorship, music, which represents a third of donations to the tune of 90 million euros, is one of the most supported areas. “, recalls Hervé Merlin, deputy director of economic and financial affairs at the Ministry of Culture, in the introduction to the 78th edition of “Jeudi du patronage” devoted, on June 2, to “music and solidarity”. A theme that could not be more current, which demonstrates ” the importance of cross-sponsorship which combines culture and social aspects “.

To illustrate this, Dominique Muller, general delegate for music at the general directorate for artistic creation at the Ministry of Culture, cites two emblematic operations: the “relax” sessions at the Opéra-Comique which, thanks to patronage, make it easier for people with disabilities to come to the theater, or the Orchester Démos at the Philharmonie de Paris, a musical and orchestral education system with a social and its innovative economic model involving the State, local authorities and patrons “. Alongside these actions from public operators, many initiatives come from private actors.

Sharing music with those who are far from it

The actions that illustrate this cross-patronage are primarily those that make music a shared art for excluded, impeded or distant audiences. ” The link between music and solidarity is at the heart of our approachsays Hugo Biancheri, development director of the Alliance orchestra, the benefits of actions labeled “Seasons of Solidarity”, 100% financed by corporate sponsorship, are thus donated to the priority causes that we support. And by organizing as we do fifteen concerts in fifteen different places in the Arcachon basin during the “Musical escapades” festival, we are going, thanks in particular to the sponsorship of the ENGIE foundation, to meet a variety of audiences with affordable pricing. “. A commitment that is rooted in the story of Pejman Memarzadeh, its artistic director, of Iranian origin: ” I arrived in France at the age of five, around fifteen, I experienced moments of wonder going to the Paris Opera, this is where this conviction comes from that artists must take their participate in the equal opportunities policy “.

I experienced the miracle of music at a very young age “, continues Jean-Philippe Sarcos, at the head of the orchestra Le Palais-Royal which offers concerts “love at first sight”, from which 10,000 young people benefit each year throughout France. Appropriately named gigs. ” When I discovered the orchestratestifies Sophie Gasperment, patron, I was immediately seduced by his way of recreating the link, but it was by attending a “love at first sight concert” that I really felt that something was happening and that I decided to become a patron. “.

I was struck in my early days by the lack of diversity in the public, which is why I went to play in rehabilitation centers, hospitals or in front of the homeless. “, emphasizes Alexandra Soumm, violinist. So that “the actions are carried out in continuity”, the violinist subsequently founded Esperanz’Arts alongside Paloma Kouider and Maria Mosconi. Today, Esperanz’Arts is made up of 150 volunteers from all disciplines and an experience, which also includes homeless people, people with disabilities and prisoners, from whom everyone comes out ” transformed “.

Meetings are of course decisive in the beginning of partnershipssays Philippe Peyrat, general delegate of the Engie foundation, music was not our priority angle but today, we want to support this enthusiasm around music. The real challenge, once the meeting has taken place, is to register the actions over time “.

One thing is certain, the miracle of music works every time. The best thing is to let Alexandra Soumm do the talking: “ After a concert in a mental institution in London, a man asked me to play Mozart. he had not spoken since his arrival at the center five years before… »


Promote initiation to musical practice for all

The testimonies abound just as much concerning the initiation to musical practice. Anne Jordan, responsible for sponsorship of the Champs-Élysées orchestra in Poitiers, cites the “music and cinema” project which, thanks to sponsorship, allows people under the control of justice “ to discover or rediscover classical music through cinema “. Mariannig Hall, a senior civil servant working in the social sector, became a patron of the Orchestra and speaks passionately of her work: ” When we said the word patronage, I thought of billionaires or Lorenzo de Medici, and if I knew incredible emotions by attending concerts of the orchestra, I did not think then to support it other than by paying my place . Then one day I saw a tweet – “become a patron of a music and social reintegration project” – and I took the plunge. “.

Chantal Ardouin, is director of the association Music’O Senior (MOS) which offers concerts in retirement homes. ” The acronym of our association “MOS” could also mean indifferently “music, opera, health or music, opera, solidarity “, specifies the one who, former director of human resources, wanted to take this social turn at the time of retirement and got down to building a ” overall project “: mediators are today trained in the lyric who “ work internally to preserve these unique moments that are the concerts “. Music’O Senior has organized more than 600 concerts in 10 years. ” The public restores the power of lyrical art she says enthusiastically.

In 2016, Jordi Savall, whom we welcome in residence, improvised a concert in the jungle of Calais and was shocked by the situation in which migrants live. This is where Orpheus XXI was born says Serge Bufferne, in charge of the project at the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans. ” We responded to a call for projects concerning refugee artists. Allowing these musicians to practice their art corresponded to our desire to open the Royal Saltworks to a varied public. “. Musicians of twelve nationalities were brought together for a year at La Saline. 45 concerts took place in France and Europe, and “ workshops in schools, also giving rise to meetings with parents, have also been set up in the towns where the refugees “.


Dissonance in music is always what drives us forward “, notes David Grimal, violinist, artistic director of the conductorless orchestra “Les dissonances”, which he founded in 2004. “ Our society is particularly dysfunctional with people who are in great difficulty. It was necessary that the requirement of the music participates in the inclusion “. Today, the collective plays in particular regularly at the Saint-Leu-Saint-Gilles church, rue Saint-Denis, in Paris: “ The concerts are organized with homeless people. A quest is done at the end. Great artists come. Between 250 and 300 people have been helped. We want fertility in the practice of music and social fertility to go hand in hand “.

We very quickly mixed culture and disease “, explains Nathalie Martin, general delegate of the Swiss Life foundation which, alongside France Alzheimer, notably organizes training for caregivers throughout the territory, including visits to major museums in France for patients and caregivers. ” An exhibition brings back memories. Culture needs to go much more to the hospital, the cause needs to be supported by as many people as possible “, Pleads the one who accompanies in particular the association “Music’O Senior” of Chantal Ardouin.

Actions once again acclaimed: “ Different relationships are part of the establishment after the concerts »says Chantal Ardouin, “ the inmate testimonies were great “, abounds Anne Jordan. “ We use social media to show that things are done and that they work “, concludes Nathalie Martin.

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