At a glance: Canada

A musical call to action: ‘Lullaby: The UNICEF Anthem’

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF video
An image from the music video set to ‘Lullaby: The UNICEF Anthem’, directed by UNICEF Canada National Ambassador and composer Steve Barakatt.

By Tracy Wright

TORONTO, Canada, 19 November 2009 – A new musical work by renowned composer and UNICEF Canada Ambassador Steve Barakatt has launched to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

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Produced in collaboration with a variety of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and musicians from around the globe, ‘Lullaby: The UNICEF Anthem’ is a musical call to action – dedicated to the world’s children.

Mr. Barakatt has also directed a music video to accompany the piece, featuring images from UNICEF’s photography archive chronicling the history of the CRC and progress towards realizing the rights it embodies.

Global celebrations

‘Lullaby’ will premiere as part of the formal celebration of the Convention’s anniversary tomorrow at United Nations headquarters in New York. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNICEF’s Executive Board President, Ambassador Oumar Daou, and Executive Director Ann M. Veneman will attend, along with youth activists and advocates, special guests and international dignitaries are expected to attend.

Symphony orchestras around the world will also join the celebration with local performances of ‘Lullaby’. Broadcasts of many of these performances will bring the anthem and its message to millions more viewers and listeners. 

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF video
UNICEF Belgium Ambassador and astronaut Frank De Winne watches the UNICEF anthem video aboard the International Space Station.

‘Lullaby’... in space

At the International Space Station, orbiting hundreds of kilometres above the globe, ‘Lullaby’ received a sneak preview, thanks to the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA. Floating in zero gravity, ESA astronaut and UNICEF Belgium Ambassador Frank De Winne watched the video on his laptop at the invitation of UNICEF Belgium.

“Music is an international language. The 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important moment in time for the whole world,” said Mr. Barakatt.

“When people around the globe hear this anthem, I want them to pause a moment and reflect on the lives of children around the world and the commitment the world made to them 20 years ago,” he added.

A convergence of artists

The video features many world-renowned musicians and UNICEF supporters – including the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Myung-Whun Chung, as well as Leon Lai, Agnes Chan, Nana Mouskouri, Angélique Kidjo, Helmut Lotti, Richard Yongjae O’Neil, Miri Ben-Ari, Maxim Vengerov, Maitrise de Radio France under the baton of Sofi Jeannin, the City of Prague Philharmonic Choir under the baton of Miriam Němcová, Francois Moisan, Dan Auger and Marie-Noëlle Claveau.

Released to over 26,000 media outlets and played by more than 25 orchestras worldwide, ‘Lullaby: The UNICEF Anthem’ constitutes a major global music event.

Mr. Barakatt says he hopes the anthem will “help focus attention on this important milestone for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that it will remind us of the journey still ahead to ensure that the rights and well-being of all children are realized.”

David Koch contributed to this story from New York.


 

 

Video

20 November 2009:
View the music video set to ‘Lullaby: The UNICEF Anthem’, directed by UNICEF Canada Ambassador and composer Steve Barakatt.
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'Lullaby: The UNICEF Anthem' premieres extraterrestrially aboard the International Space Station high above planet earth.
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