German embassy gifts MUSON musical instruments worth N19.5 Million
The bulk of the instruments was purchased by the embassy and supplemented by individuals and organizations in Germany through the efforts of Manuel Druminski, himself an ace musician, who has a strong passion for the steady growth of Nigeria’s music industry.
Shipping of the instruments was at the expense of DHL, which ensured the goods were handed over intact to MUSON. The gift is a massive boost to MUSON, a prestigious music school in Nigeria.
The handover ceremony was held on Thursday, May 24 at MUSON Centre, Onikan. It was one of the biggest private supports in the history of the organization in its more than 34 years of existence.
Vice Chairman of MUSON Centre, Chief Louis Mbanefo, said he was not surprised that such outpouring of largesse was coming from the German Embassy, considering their track record of unquestionable commitment to the promotion of cultural activities in the country for many years.
“We have come today to receive presentation of violins, violas and spare parts from the German Embassy,” he said. “We are very thrilled but the Germans have been very supportive of MUSON.
Right from the inception of MUSON some 34 years ago, the German Embassy has been very active through the Goethe Institut, which is the cultural arm of the embassy, and they have provided us with a lot of comfort with musicians coming from Germany. They have been extremely supportive and encouraging.
“Apart from the embassy, we have had Germany School in Lagos, the Musical Director has also been very active in taking part in our concerts and other activities.
In addition to that, we have had an artistic director from Germany, Mr. Thomas Kanitz; we also currently have a conductor from Germany, Mr. Michael Vollhardt, who comes about three to four times a year to conduct the MUSON Orchestra. These are developments that we are happy about.”
While responding to questions, the German Consul-General in Lagos, Mr. Ingo Herbert, lauded the continuing relevance of Nigeria music industry and revealed that many Germans, as a matter of fact, have always enjoyed Nigerian music from the days of Fela Kuti and the more contemporarily the danceable songs of Tekno, adding, “The German Embassy has been a great supporter of MUSON for a long time.
“It is part of the cultural cooperation where we can just really assist because classical music needs support.
It gets a lot in Germany and the rest of Europe, where there are rich infrastructure and public support otherwise you would need private support and donation.
This is really a field where we can boost relationship between the two countries. Mr. Michael Vollhardt – the conductor – comes here because he is someone who has worked around the world with orchestras and loves to come also to Lagos, Nigeria, to work with MUSON and has established the relationship but that was directly between him and MUSON. But from the German Consulate (German Government), we are for broad-range cultural cooperation.
“This is one field we would say, ‘let’s support;’ it is also our heritage and tradition, which is an interesting thing because you see it as Nigerian music but we see it as world music as well.
The famous Fela Kuti, yes, was a Nigerian musician but father of tropical Afro Beat music and has influenced so many contemporary music worldwide and I would say he produced world music from Africa.
Also, Hugh Masekela was a South African trumpeter and activist but a world musician from Africa.
Nigerians love concerts and they go there. Music, whether it is jazz, hip-hop or classical, is a wonderful tool to connect people easily and show we all understand things as human beings. Nigerian music is danceable.
In Berlin, for example, Tekno is much more the style to dance. When it comes to contemporary music, Tekno is at the centre. He comes from a very industrial sound. Hip-hop is much more relaxing to dance.”
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