24 Nov 2017

New Zealand wins bid to host World Music Days 2020

New Zealand has won its bid to host the 2020 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World Music Days.The World Music Days are its annual, flagship festival, involving composers from more than 50 countries, and some of the most exciting performers. The ISCM is the most highly regarded organisation of its type. After establishing itself in 1922, it has been tireless in its promotion of new music to all corners of the globe. 

The Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ) has been a member of the ISCM since 2004, and sent dozens of our composers to World Music Days in locations as far-flung and exotic as Ljubljana (Slovenia), Tongyeong (South Korea), and to this year’s festival in Vancouver where the bid to host 2020 was confirmed on Wednesday.

Former CANZ President Glenda Keam will be directing the 2020 festival. Glenda’s four-year experience on the ISCM Executive Committee – of which she is currently Vice President – will no doubt serve her well, as will her hands-on directorship of the 09-03 New Music Festival in Auckland, and her role as co-curator of the New Zealand in LA Festival in 2012.

There will also be a certain Asia-Pacific quality to the offerings of the 2020 World Music Days. In conjunction with the ISCM, the Asian Composers League (ACL) will hold its festival in Christchurch – 13 years on from the last Asia-Pacific Festival in New Zealand in 2007.

The ACL involvement only augments the significance of this event, adding credence to an already-major landmark in contemporary music on our shores. All eyes and ears will be on Auckland and Christchurch on 21 April 2020, as they welcome hundreds of delegates, composers and performers from all over the globe.

More information from Creative New Zealand

2018 ISCM World Music Days will be held in Beijing in May 2018

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