The 2023 World Symposium on Choral Music – Changing Horizons has just concluded in İstanbul, Türkiye! With support from the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism and IFCM, we were able to organize a truly international celebration of collective singing. With guest choirs, invited presenters, and participants from over 60 countries, our time together was a musical and cultural extravaganza. It was a gathering characterized by artistic brilliance and excellence, musical and cultural diversity and exchange, and a dynamic pursuit of knowledge and understanding. Through concerts, keynote presentations, conducting and composer masterclasses, meet-the-composer sessions, open singing, reading sessions, panels, roundtables, lounges, and the EXPO, there was something for everyone!
Changing Horizons, the theme for WSCM 2023, speaks both to the specific IFCM flagship event and to the global choral community on a number of levels. It suggests a new and broader understanding of choral music that includes styles, regions, and traditions of ensemble singing which may have been excluded previously from the conventional definition of choral music. There is enormous creative wealth in these parallel artistic expressions and experiences that has the potential to enrich the evolution of collective singing. To change the horizon is to take our art form and extend its boundaries. The horizon limits our own vision, but horizons need not be stagnant; beyond them, there will always be more to discover.
During our six days together, our community experienced, celebrated, and interrogated the choral landscape around the world. What does it look like at the present and what might/could it look like in the future? Together, we opened ourselves to experiencing and valuing a different aesthetic in group singing. We created spaces in which we were challenged in our own practice at some level. Hopefully, in this crazy world, the 2023 Symposium program managed to ‘change’ personal horizons as well, supplying new energy and purpose as we individually bring the power of choral singing to our own countries and communities. Peace and understanding begin with us conductors as individuals who have the agency and responsibility to lead and inspire those connected with us. To quote Barack Obama: Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the members of the WSCM 2023 Artistic and Administrative Committees, the outstanding Turkish WSCM 2023 Team and Staff, Koro Kültürü Derneği Board and Music Commission, IFCM Board and Staff, D-Event, WSCM 2023 Advisors, and YOUNG-Youth International Cultural Management Program. We feel blessed to have been part of a team of creative and dedicated individuals who love collective singing, people, and the host city and country.
On behalf of the ArtCom and AdminCom, we hope WSCM2023 participants enjoyed their experience in İstanbul. It was a delight to meet so many IFCM members at the various planned events where we had lots of opportunities to share music, ideas, experiences, friendships, food, and fun! We look forward to meeting again in 2026!
Official magazine of the International Federation for Choral Music, the International Choral Magazine is published quarterly in the four official languages of IFCM: English, French, German and Spanish. It is distributed in more than 80 countries on the five continents and is the official voice of choral music around the world.Read more
Our focus at the moment is to unite the choral calendars of international choral organisations. Meanwhile please consult the calendar of choral events published by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat here.Read more