The Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra is perhaps the most successful example of a non- government run orchestra in Colombia. As a nonprofit organization, the orchestra has developed a management model in which music, social responsibility and community and corporate relations intersect to provide the citizens of Medellín with a variety of musical experiences in different places and at different stages of their lives. This orchestra clearly aims to remain relevant well beyond the 21st century.” Mauricio Peña, nominating committee, Classical Next Award.
It is an orchestra that goes further. A group of people who believe in the transformative power of academic and popular music. In a society in which symphony orchestras are not a tradition, Filarmed has found that its job should be to seek musical excellence and be an agent of social transformation from the arts.
The orchestra as a vehicle of cultural diversity
Throughout its 40-year-old history, the Medellin Philharmonic Orchestra has enriched the city’s cultural life through its main stage season monthly concert series, where it has collaborated with important soloists and conductors. In addition to performing the most important works in the symphonic repertoire, Filarmed has also ventured into collaborations with popular artists and awarded the Latin Grammy award for Best Album in the children’s music genre.
The orchestra as a meaningful social actor
Oh la música (in Spanish sounds like Oh, the music and Hello, music) is an initiative to guarantee access to music enjoyment and learning as a cultural right of children and adolescents, and complement their personal, interpersonal and academic processes.
Soy Músico (I´m a Musician) looks for level disadvantages for youth with disabilities through music practice, to create an environment of inclusion and support, that also help to educate the community in neurodiversity. The project consists of a series of music training workshops and rehearsals for 30 participants with a cognitive or sensory disability, or in the autism spectrum.
Coro Reconciliación, a mixed choral ensemble that serves as a space to resignify relationships and build trust between former members of guerrilla groups, victims of the armed conflict, and their families.
This is a pioneering project in the country, as no other initiative has worked simultaneously with victims and victimaries of the country’s armed conflict.
Music in Hospitals. As a moment of calm and solace for healthcare workers, patients and visiting families of public hospitals of 9 departments of Colombia, Filarmed created this initiative, which offered virtual interactive concerts with a live mediator which also included personalized greetings from musicians to workers, families and patients, filled with hope and joy.