Launched in 1949 by Igor Markievitch, it was institutionalised by Gilles Lefebvre as Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra in 1969. The orchestra quickly gained a reputation of high artistic quality and became a symbol of cultural understanding and peaceful cooperation among nations. It has been described as an harmonious community of musicians without borders, or the United Nations of Music. It was also honoured with the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace in 1996 in recognition of its humanitarian message.
A glorious tradition
The JM World Orchestra is a historical program of Jeunesses Musicales International that has now been discontinued. Nevertheless, it still represents a significant part of the history of the organisation, as well as the first international youth orchestra of its kind. It provided young musicians with professional musical opportunities at the highest artistic level, touring twice annually as ambassadors for world peace and intercultural understanding.
UNESCO Artist for Peace 1996
The United Nations of Music
Since its foundation it has brought together over 10,000 musicians from some 45 countries, played all over the world and inspired the creation of many other similar orchestras. It has been conducted by such maestros as Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein, MIcheal Tilson-Thomas, Serge Baudo, Lawrence Foster, Walter Weller, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Eduardo Mata, Jeffrey Tate, Vernon Handley, Charles Dutoit, Michel Tabachnik, Antonio Pappano, En Shao, Bobby McFerrin. Daniel Harding, Yuri Temirkanov, Kent Nagano, Yakov Kreizberg, MIcheal Tilkin, Kurt Masur, Franz-Paul Decker, Josep Vincent.