It is my great pleasure and joy to welcome you all again to an extraordinary event, the annual Phnom Penh Music Festival, held for the 10th consecutive time. In itself, it is a notable event in the cultural calendar of Cambodia.

The theme of this year's festival "Journey" European Art-Music- Development in the 20th Century, may seen somewhat remote from life in contemporary Cambodia, but it is precisely this which brings together different cultural expressions which is the hallmark of a progressive society.

There is great mutual interest between musicians of different nationalities and a fusion of divergent cultural forms and research. This Festival program also showcases the works of Cambodian composers who are increasingly making their mark in the current internationalcontext.

Our late King Father Norodom Sihanouk shaped the development of Cambodian music significantly in the 20th century. His royal wonderful, unforgettable compositions are well known throughout the country. The Takeo-born Cambodian-American composer Prof. Dr. Chinary Ung, is successfully composing contemporary music and has been honored with many prestigious awards. His works are also based on Cambodian music traditions.

Thus, in the progressive spirit of our times, Cambodia is eager to
participate in this forthcoming promising exchange

HE Him Chhem
Minister of Culture and Fine Arts

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

It is a great pleasure for the Delegation of the European Union to the
Kingdom of Cambodia to sponsor once again the Phnom Penh
International Music Festival.

With 'Journey' as the theme of this tenth edition, I am sure that the
festival will transport us to new horizons:

  great artists and music will once again 'journey' from Europe
to Cambodia, to connect the diversity of European music
with the rich culture of Cambodia;
  this year's festival will feature music composed by His
Majesty the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk, whose
'journeys' around the world helped to promote Cambodian culture;
  through music, the decades-long friendship between
Cambodia and the European Union will continue to flourish
on its 'journey' towards deeper and stronger bonds.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Anton Isselhardt, the Festival Director, and his team for their hard work to make this festival such a remarkable event.

I am sure you will truly enjoy this musical 'journey' with us.

Ambassador Jean-François Cautain,
Head of Delegation

Jean-François Cautain
Chargé d' Affaires a.i.
Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia

This year's Music Festival offers a rich and colorful selection of modern music, some of which, coming from Europe, is still quite unknown in this part of the world. The Festival's director, Anton Isselhardt, deserves great applause for having chosen a program which presents a wonderful collection of pieces representative of developments in the world of music in the 20th century. The period which this music spans has been one of profound changes in the entire world, certainly in Europe. The beginning of this period was marked by the end of the Romantic era, featuring an individual approach to music and focusing on the individual.

The traumatic events of World War I changed all this and gave birth to a new world. The dreamy vision of the Romantic era was replaced by a sharp realism, the result of a vast disillusionment which the terrible war had brought about. But World War I marked only the beginning of these changes. The music which we will be hearing reflects this ongoing struggle, the search for a new order and, above all, for peace of mind and a liberated human spirit. I have no doubt that this powerful music, even though perhaps sometimes unaccustomed or at first even strange to the ears of many listeners, will provide not only a new musical experience to a culturally interested audience – it will also be inspiration to young and not so young artists in this country for their own work.

I would be happy if in this way the dialogue between different musical cultures could be broadened, thus contributing towards friendship and understanding between peoples of different backgrounds and countries.

Joachim Baron von Marschal
Ambassador of the F R of Germany

Joachim Baron von Marschal
Ambassador of the F R of Germany

Welcome to the 10th International Music Festival.
Once again, on this occasion it is time to say thank you to the Ministry of Culture for their trust and support, to the Delegation of the European Union and the German Embassy for their ongoing cooperation and jointly sponsoring, and to the Goethe-Institut for their sustained partnership. The ARTplus foundation, as the festival organizer, is also grateful to be part of the cultural programing of the Hotel InterContinental.

At the turn of the 20th Century, music was characteristically in the so-called late Romantic style but already showed new exciting tendencies, especially various local ethnic influences. Therefore, the development of modern European art music was without any dominant style and highly diverse. A selection of those composers and their composing techniques within the 20th century represent this evolution and will be presented on five festival days:
Post-Romanticism | Modernism | Impressionism | Atonality and
twelve-tone technique | Neo Classicism and Minimalism.

The period preceding Cambodian independence to the late 1960s was one of cultural change and modernization in the Cambodian arts. The first European influences date from somewhat earlier, but from this time so-called 'modern music' (music composed in Western tradition and instrumentation) began to develop mainly in urban areas and it seems to have taken two forms: 'popular music' and a 'more classicized style' based on principles and knowledge of music theory, harmony and orchestration.

Do come and listen to what Cambodian and European composers have to say - through their music !

Anton Isselhardt, Festival Director

Anton Isselhardt
Director of ART plus Foundation
and Festival Director