City of Music-Talk am 28. Januar 2019

City of Music Talk #7 with Alice Moser, Coordinator UNESCO City of Music Hanover. Hosted by Gunnar Geßner at Künstlerhaus: “The UNESCO requirements are high, and they have a lot of guidelines that are a challenge for everyday work.” Alice Moser

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. Since 2014, Hanover has been part of this network, which currently includes 180 member cities. In 2015, the UN defined 17 sustainable development goals as a framework for the future development of our planet. Then, in 2016, the cities became the focus of the sustainability objective. However, many of the targets remain very abstract for the people actively working on their realization. Alice Moser, co-ordinator of the UNESCO City of Music activities in Hanover, is one of them.

“In the network we are constantly discussing how to meet the sustainability goals,” Moser says. “Everybody tries to find practical approaches to include them in our projects.  However, some of the targets are not so important in Germany because they are already part of our everyday practice.” All members of the Cities of Music network need to justify what they are doing and document the extent to which they have met the development goals, which increases the workload of the individual teams considerably. “The UNESCO requirements are high, and they have a lot of guidelines that are a challenge for everyday work”, Moser admits.

Interestingly enough, one of the biggest challenges is the popularity of the network. “The number of Cities of Music has risen considerably and, the general Creative Cities network has doubled in number. This makes the networking with all the cities difficult,” Moser says. “All the creative cities need to take part in the evaluation process of new potential members, which takes a lot of time.” Other challenges are of a more practical nature: “We have to cope with branding issues since we are not allowed to use the UNESCO logo in our everyday activities, even though it’s the member cities who convey the idea of the network.”

However, the title UNESCO City of Music is an award – and it is rewarding, especially when the networking works as smoothly as it does in Hanover and Liverpool: “I meet regularly with Kevin McManus, co-ordinator of the UCOM Liverpool. We have cooperated in various concerts and festivals. To meet people from other UCOM’s music scenes is very inspiring,” Moser says. Unlike Liverpool, which benefited from the title of European Cultural Capital 10 years ago, Hanover is striving towards becoming Cultural Capital in 2025 – and is using the title UNESCO City of Music as an asset for the bidding process.

So Alice Moser faces high expectations from both UNESCO and the City of Hanover. On the other hand, administrative restraints means she needs to work on a very small budget: “Our website is linked to, which makes our work very difficult. We have no money for editorial support but we cannot ask for external sponsorship from commercial partners because it is a public website. This is a vicious circle if the budget for the City of Music is not increased.” Nonetheless, she manages to use the budget to the benefit of many small musical projects in the city.

Alice Moser has been co-ordinating the activities of UCOM Hanover since 2015. She worked previously for Konzertdirektion Schmidt as an artist manager for classical musicians and travelled a lot. A graduate in English studies, Cultural Studies and History, she enjoys spending more time in Hanover now: “I can follow what is going on in the Hanover music scene more closely and I enjoy it a lot. And I can be in touch with a broader range of music,” she says. It is not therefore surprising that one of her favourite musical projects in Hanover is the Fête de la Musique: “I like all projects that have really benefitted people. Especially when you wonder if they could work at the beginning and they really turn out to be a wonderful thing in the end.”

HI 5

Your last concert epiphany?

Yesterday, Charles Aston in the Capitol, very cool Country Music. In December Monkey’s, Robby Ballhause, I really enjoyed this concert. We have lots of good music in Hanover.

Radio, Spotify, CD or Vinyl?


Have you met all of your music legends?

Well, I met Brian Adams and asked for an autograph, but I did not really meet him properly, unfortunately.

A recent music discovery?

Robby Ballhause is a good musician. And Electric Fields from Adelaide.

When is your next concert?

There are so many of them … What do you suggest?