Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great Pleasure for me to announce the 11th Music Festival here Phnom Penh. This Festival has already become an important integral part of our growing multifold cultural life in the city or even in the whole country. In times of serious global turmoil and tensions, music can bring us back to the essentials of humanity and human existence. Music helps us to an insight into our selves. By that, we may gain new ideas and confidence for our everyday life. In this regards, this year’s program is of peculiar interest, because it presents compositions based on myths and legends from various parts of the world.

Myths and Legends tell us a lot about former societies and their spiritual conceptions, their belief and even their fantasies. They are binding tools in order to learn about our past, and they foster a better understanding of the current situation. Some myths and legends also include hidden elements or traces with a certain transcultural character. They demonstrate clearly that behind all fascinating diversity, there is always something in common between us all. It is something that we may call cultural archetypes.

Therefore music is an ideal medium of turning concrete legends and myths into a more abstract aura which then may enlighten one’s individual fantasy. Or in other words, music based on myths and legends enables us to create our own stories in our minds. This may lead to quite new artistic experiences.

I strongly hope that the festival continues to be an essential part of our cultural life and continues to enrich cultural exchange as well.

Phoeurng Sackona
Minister of Culture and Fine Arts

Phoeurng Sackona
Minister of
Culture and Fine Arts

It is a great pleasure for the Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia to welcome  you to a very special musical terrain: music based on European and Asian mythology.

Since the beginning of mankind, myths and legends have inspired artists, writers, musicians and composers across the globe. One example is the Ramayana Epic in various forms (known as Reamker in Cambodia) which is widely known in South and South-East Asia. Just as the figures of Rama and Sita present the core narrative in Ramayana, one of the best known subjects for European performing arts is the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

The  festival program introduces representative compositions from several periods of European music history with their specific features based on European and Asian mythological cultural heritage.

In the tradition of the music festival, one can once again experience young Cambodian artists and international guest performers. This concept has proven to be both a great benefit for Cambodian young musicians and a wonderful enrichment for the whole artistic community.

Music is one of the greatest forms that we can share and a bridge between peoples and cultures. I am convinced that the 11th International Music Festival in Phnom Penh will continue to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of Cambodia and Europe.

Jean-François Cautain,
Ambassador of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia

Jean-François Cautain
Ambassador of the
European Union to the
Kingdom of Cambodia

For the 11th year, the German musician, conductor and CEO of Art+ Foundation, Anton Isselhardt, has organized an outstanding music festival in Phnom Penh. With a rich and exciting programme of Western classical music, the Festival not only caters to the foreign community but also to an increasingly enthusiastic Cambodian audience. I am particularly happy about the large number of young Cambodians attending these concerts. These young concert goers are testimony to a growing middle class in this country; a class with cosmopolitan ambitions.

By nurturing this interest group through the festival, Anton Isselhardt and his team and the festival sponsors are, without doubt, making a unique and important contribution to the overall development of Cambodia. In an age where the technical and the rational dominate our daily life more and more we need to be reminded of the critical role of music and the arts in restoring spiritual balance to our lives. We are grateful to all involved in the festival for this gift.

I warmly invite all music lovers, young and old and also those new to Western classical music to take full advantage of the feast of music offered by this year’s concert programme and I look forward to enjoying some wonderful artistic experiences with you all.

Joachim Baron von Marschal
Ambassador of the F R of Germany

Joachim Baron von Marschal
Ambassador of the F R of Germany

Since its launch in 2004, the Art+ Foundation has been committed to the promotion of Cambodian music forms and western classical music in Cambodia. Through a cultural exchange process in form of music education projects as well as an extensive program of music performances in town, our main objective has always been and continues to be the support to the cultural scene in The Kingdom of Wonder.

The well-established International Music Festivals are examples of our consistent efforts to maintain this commitment and, in 2014, we are delighted to be able to celebrate this for the 10th consecutive year. Each edition of the Festival has proudly counted on the kind support of a wide number of associations, embassies and private corporations that share the values and commitment of Art+ Foundation. Thanks to their generosity, the festival has been able to welcome international artists year after year without charging entrance fees, ensuring that this wonderful celebration of music is accessible to all.  

However, due to changing economic environments in European countries and the resulting reduction in cultural budgets, the funds this year have unfortunately been considerably reduced. Therefore, for this year’s festival we are left with no other alternative but to charge an entrance fee. We believe the ticket prices do still offer an incredible value for the quality of the artists participating. We hope everyone will join efforts to continue the proliferation of cultural events in Cambodia.

Hope to see you all during the Festival!

Anton Isselhardt, Festival Director
Festival Director and 1st  Chairman ARTplus Foundation

Anton Isselhardt
Festival Director and 1st  Chairman ARTplus Foundation