New Year’s Greeting from the IAML President Pia Shekhter

Dear IAML members,

Yet another IAML-year has passed and I would like to share with you a summary of what has happened during this eventful year. One of my New Year’s resolutions is not to make these kinds of texts too long! Let’s see how well I will manage…

On 9 May we had our first ever online workshop with the National Representatives. There were more than 20 countries represented, which I found quite amazing. We were focusing on membership issues and the consultant, Lisa Collins, stressed the importance of membership benefits. On the website and in the IAML brochure you can find many good arguments for why it is valuable to be a member of IAML. Personally, I find that one important aspect is that you can contribute to the development of our professions through international cooperation. Let us all be ambassadors of our fantastic Association!

Thanks to the efforts of our Secretary General, Anders Cato and the Treasurer, Kimmy Szeto, the elections for the Board went smoothly. At the General Assembly I welcomed the new Board members Stefan Engl and Janneka Guise and cordially thanked the members who left the Board, Jane Gottlieb and Stanisław Hrabia. The President Elect is Rupert Ridgewell, who will take over as IAML’s President after me at the end of the congress in Stellenbosch 23-28 June.

The IAML UK & Ireland Branch was celebrating its 70th anniversary by arranging a wonderful and memorable congress in CambridgeA lot of material can be found on the IAML website – minutes, presentations, congress diaries, photos and more. Even a YouTube playlist!

The national branches are at the heart of IAML. Several national representatives have written short presentations on their respective branches that are published on the website. Others are in the pipeline. On the topic of novelties on the website, I would like to remind you of the new page with personal memories of senior members. These are meant as a way to preserve IAML’s history as a vivid complement to our official documents. Another novelty on the website is an image bank with photos that can be used for promotional purposes. Remember also everything that is accessible to you on the IAML Members’ Area after logging in: eFontes, IAML Members Directory, Discussion workspaces and more. And do remember our eminent bibliography Recent Publications in Music.

I had the pleasure to represent IAML at the 54th IASA Conference & 4th ICTMD Forum in Istanbul, 11-15 September. This was the first time I attended a conference with the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), as well as my first meeting with the International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance (ICTMD). Apart from many interesting presentations, I had very productive discussions with the Tre Berney (President of IASA), Svanibor Pettan (President of ICTMD) and Patrick Midtlyng (the new President of IASA, after the conference) about reviving the collaboration between our organizations. One concrete result of the discussions is the IASA workshop that will take place during the congress in Stellenbosch. Please, find my report from the conference in Istanbul, as well as a visit to the Arvo Pärt Centre in Estonia and the Journée professionnelle with the French IAML Branch in Paris on the IAML website.

The Online Events Committee organized aonline session about eScores at 10 November. It was one of the most well-attended we have ever had and was greatly appreciated by the attendees. You can find a video recording here.

Twenty-eight members accepted the Board’s invitation to the online event IAML Members Meet the New Board on 6 December 2023. We had a very good meeting, elegantly moderated by Houman Behzadi. Houman referred to the IAML Strategic Intentions, originally formulated by Past President Stanisław Hrabia in 2019, that still serve as a guide for the Board and the National Representatives, as well as a source of inspiration for IAML’s members. He had prepared questions both for the Board and for the audience about IAML’s successes and challenges. Examples of successesmentioned were the revival of the collaboration with our sister organizations, such as the International Musicological Society (IMS), the International Music Council (IMCand IASAthe strengthened cooperation between the national branches, and the combined efforts of the “DAMO” Committees (Development, Advocacy, Membership and Outreach). Among the challenges that were brought up were the dwindling membership and the fact that only a relatively small fraction of our membership is able to attend the international congresses. The need for hybrid congresses were emphasized by several members.

I am sure we can look forward with confidence to the future of IAML thanks to the devoted and highly professional membership. In this context, I would like to remind you that we awarded an Honorary membership this year to Roger Flury, Past PresidentThe beautifully written citation,composed by Rupert Ridgewell, can be found here.

On a more sad note, we were informed that our esteemed colleague Harald Heckmann passed away on 5 November. We owe Mr Heckmann a debt of gratitude for his distinguished and long-standing service to IAML and the R-projects. Mr Heckmann was appointed Honorary President of IAML in 1977. I often come back to his commemorative article "Half a Century", for IAML's 50th anniversary, published on the IAML website: Please, find an obituary on the IAML website, submitted by Ann Kersting-Meuleman, Chair of the German IAML Branch.

Looking back at the year that has passed, I conclude that 2023 was a fruitful and inspirational year for IAML, but we do not exist in splendid isolation, of course. One cannot escape the fact that 2023 has been a very dark year in many respects. My thoughts go to all IAML members who have been struck by wars, terror attacks and other meaningless violence. A recent and horrific example is the senseless killing of students and teachers at the Charles University in Prague. The attack happened at the 4th floor of the Building of the Philosophical Faculty, where the Library of the Department of Musicology is situated. The library is a member of IAML and the Director, Lenka Hlávková, was one of the victims and died soon after she was shot. I send my deeply felt condolences to the members of the national branch of the Czech Republic.

sincerely hope that we can look forward to a more positive and peaceful coming year. Please, accept my very best wishes for 2024!


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