"Academia Sighișoara" is an international festival for young musicians and visual artists from all over the world. A place of encounter and interchange, a platform for contemporary art in the new EU country Romania.
The Festival takes place between the 1st and 14th of August 2014.
We are launching the 2015 year-round concert series in March, in the framework of Academia Sighisoara. The events are taking place in different Romanian cities promoting high quality classical music performed by talented local musicians, as well as showcasing the works of contemporary and modern Romanian and Swiss composers.
The two series-launching concerts held in Timisoara (March 3) and Oradea (March 4) are titled Dialogues due to the structure of its program. The program proposes a dialogue between the masterpieces wrote by well known music creators of the 20th century and a handful of the most well known composers of Cluj, Romania. The three musicians engaged in this musical dialogue are each well defined artistic personalities, representing the school of Cluj. Melinda Béres (violin), Tiberius Simu (tenor) and Silvia Sbârciu (piano) will perform works by Olivier Messien, Romanian composers Cornel Țăranu, Dan Voiculescu, Adrian Pop and Swiss composer Arthur Honegger.
Dialogues - chamber music recital
March 3, 7 pm at the Orpheum Hall, Music and Theater Faculty, University of Vest, Timisoara
March 4, 6 pm at the Festive Hall, Iuliu Maniu Greek Catholic Lyceum, Oradea
Melinda Béres (violin)
Tiberius Simu (tenor)
Silvia Sbârciu (piano)
Cornel Țăranu - Black Fir Trees (text by Lucian Blaga) for voice and piano
Olivier Messiaen - Theme and variations for violin and piano
Dan Voiculescu - Fables for solo piano
Adrian Pop - Seven fragments from Tristan Tzara for voice and piano
Dan Voiculescu - Dialogues for solo piano
Arthur Honegger - Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano
Scheduled events in the framework of Academia Sighisoara: chamber music concerts on March 9 (Sighisoara), April 19, May 9 (both in Cluj), May 15 (Bistrita), violin master classes with Adelina Oprean between 9-13 March and Alexander Technique courses with Angela Schwartz between 16-20 March at the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, Cluj.
Written by Angela Schwartz
A year ago I ran into Alexandru Gavrilovici, whom I hadn’t seen in decades, at a concert. We exchanged the usual questions about what we were up to, and I told him that I no longer performed as a cellist and instead was increasingly involved with my work as a teacher of the Alexander Technique. He seemed pleasantly surprised and quite interested by this information, but I gave that no further thought until he called me a few weeks later and asked whether I might be interested in giving an Alexander Technique course parallel to his master class in violin at the Academia Gheorghe Dima in Cluj, Romania.
His aim was to awaken the students’ awareness of the unconscious postural habits which affect instrumental playing, and not to simply correct obvious technical details. I was particularly delighted by his invitation, because introducing musicians to the Alexander Technique is an opportunity for me to combine both of my professions, and also because I have always been fascinated by that part of Europe. In addition, the fact that the Technique is practically unknown east of Budapest was an appealing aspect.
I made arrangements with the Director of the Academia for a three-day introductory course with 12-18 participants in April 2014 and prepared my teaching plan accordingly. A couple of weeks before I was to fly to Cluj, I received an e-mail from the Academia saying that registration for the course hadn’t been limited and 86 people, including 17 professors, had signed up for it! This caused me some consternation, and I considered
various more or less sensible scenarios for dealing with so much interest. It was clear to me that I couldn’t simply limit the number of participants and would have to find a way to accommodate this unexpected crush. Above all, I would have to overcome my aversion to group teaching of the Alexander Technique, which is normally a one-on-one situation, immediately!
In the end, I decided to give an introductory lecture and short demonstrations of classical Alexander Technique work at the chair and on the table, after which the participants were divided into groups by instrument in order to address specific instrumental concerns. Despite time limitations, I worked with each participant individually for a few minutes, because I wanted very much for them all to have a direct experience of the Technique.
Reactions to the work surpassed all my expectations. Students and teachers alike were completely open to a different approach to playing and teaching, which impressed me very much. I felt that there was a real thirst for new ways of thinking about the challenges of musical performance. At the end of the course we had a round table discussion, and I asked them to voice their thoughts about the Technique. There were comments like, „I think the Technique is a way of life;“ or „In my lesson, my piano teacher asked me what was up—I wasn’t raising my shoulders any more“. I was especially pleased with these remarks, because I hadn’t been certain that I had found an effective structure for this initial encounter.
Fortunately, it was possible to follow up on this pilot project after its „premiere“ in Cluj. Alexandru Gavrilovici invited me to teach a more traditional Alexander Technique course the following August at the Academia Sighisoara. I was able to give each pupil four lessons within one week. In addtion I offered an open session every morning for all who were interested; this included group activities and also the possibility of individual instrumental work. Thus, many of the Academia students and young artists were able to get a first impression of the Technique.
Thanks to these courses I once again experienced how strong the effects of the Alexander Technique can be in the performing arts. In addition, the enthusiasm of the students was truly upifting. Fortunately I’ll be continuing the courses in Cluj and Sighisoara in 2015, and the outlook for a sustainable future is also good: One of the participants is seriously interested in training to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique, thus providing local continuity and development.
We are officially opening year two of our partnership project (2013-2016) on November 6, 2014 with a chamber music concert which will be held at the Public and University Library of Neuchâtel (Place Numa-Droz 3), Switzerland.
Academia Sighisoara is a partnership project co-financed by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union, and co-organised by the Cultura Viva Sighisoara Association (Bern, Switzerland) along with the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy of Cluj, Romania. To promote the summer academy and festival, we organise chamber music concerts in various locations in Romania throughout the project year. The opening of the concert series of the partnership project traditionally takes place in the native home of the association, in the Land of the Cantons.
Performing at the official opening of the second year, The Linos Ensemble - Felix Renggli, flute (Basel), Marie Trottmann, harp (Neuchâtel), Alexandru Gavrilovici, violin (Bern), Vladimir Lakatos, viola (Munich) and Stéphane Giampellegrini, cello (Luxembourg) - will present works by W.A. Mozart, B. Bartók, C. Debussy, A. Honegger and T. Takemitsu. This event takes place on Thursday (6th November) at 7,30 pm.
”The first concert of this season – within the framework of the partnership project between Cultura Viva Sighisoara Association, Bern and the Gheorghe Dima Music Academy of Cluj - will take place on November 6 in Neuchâtel. This partnership is reflected in the Sighisoara Academy project - the second yearly event of this cooperation - and which, in the first year, presented important musical events." - says Alexandru Gavrilovici, the president of the Cultura Viva Sighisoara Association.
"The Sighisoara Academy project has sought, with great success to date, the creation of a sustainable bridge between these two European countries; countries that actually have much to share artistically. The fact that the concert on November 6 will be held in Neuchâtel, another jewel of the Swiss Cantons, is not accidental. Between Bern, (where Cultura Viva Sighisoara Association resides) and the French speaking Canton of Neuchâtel, there are fascinating differences which through the message of the music can be brought to a common denominator.
Linos Ensemble, takes its name from the famous bard of antiquity, master of mythical characters such as Orpheus and even Heracles. Under this name, the artists of Sighisoara Academy perform a chamber music repertoire with harp. This fascinating instrument is presented by Mrs Marie Trottmann, a renowned personality within the lecturer constellation of the Sighisoara Academy. She will perform together with Felix Renggli, professor at the Academy in Basel and one of the most important contemporary flute players, highlighting the music of Debussy and Villa-Lobos. There will be of course references to Romanian and Swiss musical heritage, which will be represented by Béla Bartók's Romanian Dances and Arthur Honegger’s Sonatina.
We wish to build upon the previous year’s successes in this new artistic year of collaboration with Romania. Thus we have already started on preparing the next edition of Sighisoara Academy, which will take place, traditionally, between 1 and 14 August in the medieval Romanian town of Sighisoara” - states Alexandru Gavrilovici, on behalf of the Cultura Viva Sighisoara Association.