It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all to the 6th International Music Festival in Phnom Penh that takes place with a scope on famous classical composer Joseph Haydn.

Art has a long and important tradition in the Cambodian society and has always been an integral part of our culture being deeply connected with our philosophy of life. In regard to our recent past the Cambodian society warmly welcomes international artists bringing new perspectives into our lives, because art represents trans cultural values that may add significantly to approach the challenges of the future. Furthermore art is an interesting field of mutual discourse between nations, ethnics and individuals that has no other target than the spirit of mankind itself including its moral and ethical values.

I am pleased that this initiative by Mr. Anton Isselhard and his team is helping to develop the Cambodian art life on various levels, including our own traditional music and contemporary developments of it. This could create new exciting forces and developments that may even vibrate beyond Cambodia and its neighborhood, in order to foster a so-called “unifying diversity” with a global perspective where we are all equal partners.

HE Him Chhem
Minister of Culture and Fine Arts

H.E. Him Chhem
Minister of
Culture and Fine Arts

There are not too many people who would instantly think of Joseph Haydn, when they hear the German national anthem. But indeed it was exactly this composer of Austrian origin to whom Germany owes the music written in 1797 and which since 1922 had been used for the German national anthem. The importance of Joseph Haydn to the musical world is however not restricted to this one composition. We can imagine the impact Joseph Haydn had on classical European music of his times and up to today by the fact that he was a close friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven. Haydn was often referred to as "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet". By the time of his death, he was one of the most celebrated composers across Europe.

The choice of Joseph Haydn to be in the focus of the International Music Festival in Phnom Penh is no coincindence. This year the musical world commemorates the 200 th anniversary of his death in 1809 with many Haydn concerts all over Europe. I am very grateful to the art plus foundation and its artistic director Anton Isselhardt that he with the support of the Goethe Institute, many artists and many sponsors to the Festival made it again possible that we in Cambodia can join in in enjoying Haydn and other composers of classical music.

Music does not know any borders and so does the understanding of music. Within our cultural cooperation with the Kingdom of Cambodia the Federal Republic of Germany has always strived to encourage young artists from Cambodia and the region to actively engage in performing classical music and to support the understanding of music. I remember with gratitude the concert of the Tübingen Chamber Orchestra in Phnom Penh on September 4, 2009 under the high patronage of his Majesty the King of Cambodia where young German musicians performed supported by soloists from Cambodia. During the sixth International Musical Festival in Phnom Penh, 22 - 30 October 2009, we will be able to witness more of these brilliant examples.

Frank M. Mann
German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia

Frank M. Mann,
German Ambassador to the
Kingdom of Cambodia

I am pleased to welcome you to the 6st International Music Festival Phnom Penh. This ongoing initiative for a development to the Cambodian art life brings again together artists from Western and Asian countries. For that, such a festival and all the other activities through out the year are a fair and important contribution which hopefully will continue and even increase.

In 2009, the music world around the globe will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). One of the humorous and cheerful composer’s most famous sayings:

“My language is understood throughout the world,” is providing the motto for the this year music festival.

I do hope something in the variety of festival program we have on offer may be refreshing or enlightening for you, so do join us and immerse yourself in many creative hours of exhilarating and entertaining music.

I wish you all an exiting festival season

Anton Isselhardt
Festival Director

Anton Isselhardt
Program Director ART+Foundation