Cultures in Harmony
Cultures in Harmony (CiH) forges connections across cultural and national barriers through the medium of music. Our projects catalyze cross-cultural dialogue that improves relations between the USA and the rest of the world, one melody and one smile at a time.
On September 16, 2001, violinist William Harvey performed for soldiers from the Fighting Sixty-Ninth Regiment as they returned from working at Ground Zero. The experience inspired him to explore music's capacity to transform society. During a 2004 trip to Turkey, he witnessed music's power to bring people together when an impromptu performance transformed the atmosphere at a private dinner. A friend from the World Health Organization helped him organize a project in Moldova and Tunisia in 2005, and CiH was born.
Since 2005, we have sent over fifty musicians on cultural diplomacy projects in over a dozen countries. In 2010, we were named a Best Practice in International Cultural Engagement by the US Center for Citizen Diplomacy. Our work involves:
Innovative partnerships with humanitarian, musical, and civil society organizations allow us to connect as musicians and as people. We’re proud to have worked with the Cartwheel Foundation (Philippines); Klasik Keyifler (Turkey); Institute for the Preservation of Arts and Culture, Aware Girls, and The Cartwheel Foundation (Pakistan); Revival Arts Trust and Eyes for Africa (Zimbabwe); Cameroon Nigeria Youth Movement (Cameroon); and many others.
CiH master classes have taught thousands of young classical musicians in the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and Tunisia. Renowned world musicians, such as Oliver Mtukudzi in Zimbabwe and Akthar Chanal Zahri in Pakistan, have taught our musicians a great deal and then performed their music with us. This public musical education shows foreign audiences that Americans welcome opportunities to learn from others.
We frequently bring people together by jointly creating new music. We have helped write compositions about AIDS in the middle of the jungle in Papua New Guinea and worked with young girls in Egypt to create songs about the importance of picking up trash. We have worked with numerous indigenous groups in the Philippines to develop compositions celebrating their heritage.
We perform in a variety of unique environments to connect with people far from the traditional concert experiences. We’ve made music in prisons in Cameroon, a leprosy center in the Philippines, a public park in Zimbabwe, the streets of Pakistan, and an old church in Turkey.
Communicating through the media allows us to broadcast our message of peace and solidarity to many more people. Cultures in Harmony has been profiled in national newspapers, radio stations, websites, and TV channels everywhere from Zimbabwe to Cameroon to the Dominican Republic. Pakistan’s Dawn News aired an hour-length documentary about our work.