APO given human rights award
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 5:10p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Human Rights Commission has awarded a New Zealand Diversity Award to the Auckland Philarmonia Orchestra (APO).
Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says only 12 organisations are recognised each year with the award.
“The APO was an obvious choice and is a great example for other mainstream cultural organisations to follow,” says Mr de Bres.
The awards are made to recognise outstanding contributions to race relations and cultural diversity.
APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser says she is glad the orchestra’s work off stage has been recognised.
“In the 21st century, playing concerts on the main stage is only part of what an orchestra does, and it’s gratifying to know that the work we do throughout Auckland hasn’t gone unnoticed,” she says.
Mr de Bres says the APO has an innovative cross-cultural programme, and has worked extensively with young people in South Auckland.
Part of this work has been the establishment of ‘Remix the Orchestra’ – an opportunity for young urban musicians to be paired with members of the orchestra and hip-hop mentors.
The APO also runs Sistema Aotearoa – New Zealand’s first music education and social development programme based on the famed El Sistema model – at the Otara Music Arts Centre. Through this programme the APO teaches instrument skills to more than 160 primary school-aged children.
And Ms Glaser says the award isn’t just for the members of the orchestra.
“Initiatives such as Remix can only exist with the support of the community, and the APO is honoured to receive this award because in recognising the orchestra it also acknowledges the people the orchestra serves.”
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