Symphonies for peaceful coexistence: classical music brings refugees and their hosts together in Jordan

Sports & cultural activities

Symphonies for peaceful coexistence: classical music brings refugees and their hosts together in Jordan

07 February 2020

This inspiring project was originally published on 6 July, 2018 as a highlight of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) roll-out in Jordan. 

When musicians from Europe travel to Jordan to play classical music for Syrian refugees and their Jordanian hosts, the true spirit of humanity comes to live. From 29 June to 7 July, five members of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra are playing for Syrians and Jordanians in different parts of the country to show their solidarity with the nearly 667,000 Syrian refugees* who have fled their homes and the communities that have welcomed them. The initiative – concerts for a world in motion – uses music as a medium to bring people together and to promote community and peace.


The five musicians are Stefan Arzberger (violin), Konstantin Pfiz (cello), Beatrice Muthelet (viola), Verena-Maria Fitz (violin) and Marco Thomas (clarinet). In Azraq camp where they played their first concert, Stefan Arzberger, initiator of concerts for a world in motion, said :

In my home country, Germany, we have seen in the past how division can destroy communities and social fabric. We know that Jordanians have opened their arms to Syrians who fled their homes and country. Today, we want to bring our own contribution towards this peaceful co-existence. Through the universal language of music and the peaceful harmony of classical music, we are showing that the world cares about them and supports them.


When all UN Member States unanimously agreed to change the way the world responds to refugee situations, they envisioned that all parts of society should help refugees to be more included in their host communities. The musicians are playing their part in this approach spelled out in the New York Declaration. The final draft of the global compact on refugees, due to be adopted later in 2018, recognizes the important role that cultural activities can play for peaceful coexistence.


The musicians’ tour in Jordan is supported by embassies, the private sector (Werner M. Bahlsen, Barbara Lambrecht, Prof. Gustavo Moeller-Hergt, Hubert Achenmann), NGO’s (JOHUD, Care) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

* As of June 2018