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European Chamber Music Teachers Association´s Autumn Gathering in Tallinn 9-11 Dec, 2016

The Autumn Gathering at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre came to a splendid conclusion Sunday, 11 Dec 2016, with a final wave of ensemble lessons, an informal information meeting providing an admirably concise but detailed update on current issues from Chairwoman Marje Lohuaru and Secretary/Treasurer Piret Väinmaa, a lovely final concert and then a concluding reception bathed in sunlight from the panoramic windows on the 4th floor of the Academy. Students participated not only from EAMT, but also from the Heino Eller Tartu Music College, Tallinn Music High School, Juozas Naujalis Music Gymnasium (Kaunas) and, for the first time, from the Xenia Chamber Music Course (Italy). As is usual, more than 10 professors - from Italy, Portugal, the UK, France, Poland, Cyprus and Lithuania - provided masterclasses with an impressive list of student ensembles playing a broad selection of repertoires and genres: in the three days there were well over 60 lessons. The concerts also featured an especially interesting collaboration between the Xenia Course quartet and a quartet from Kaunas, who came together to perform the first movement of Mendelssohn's Octet; the remaining three movements were expertly played by an octet of students from Tallinn.

The opening student concert featured works of the Gathering's guest speaker, composer Erkki-Sven Tüür, who in addition to speaking at length about his career and compositional process provided a fascinating performance class with the two student ensembles playing his music. Still more works of Tüür were then performed brilliantly the following evening in the Swedish St Michael Church by the Gathering's resident ensemble Yxus. Members of Yxus also invited participating student ensembles to attend a workshop/rehearsal focusing on the iconic minimalist masterpiece, Terry Riley's 'In C'. This was the first time this kind of experiment had been attempted at an ECMTA meeting, and the response from students was inspiring. After some hesitation, the students from Estonia, Italy and Lithuania grew more and more confident, and continued playing long after they had been informed that the session was over!

Returning after a very well-received lecture and workshop at the General meeting in Warsaw, Professor Eugenijus Laurinaitis delivered an magisterial analysis of ECMTA members' responses to his questionnaire on chamber music teaching, placing our pedagogical concerns and challenges in the context of scientific understanding of communication and learning. Members then participated in a lively and stimulating group discussion on issues of communication with students, as well as questions of pedagogy and the role that chamber music teaching and activity can contribute to a young person's development. Two Estonian psychologists, colleagues from Professor Laurinaitis' previous work in Estonia, were also present, and expressed interest in developing and expanding on these reflections.

Members Forum talks included a presentation of the Kuopio Conservatoire in anticipation of the upcoming Annual ECMTA Spring meeting (check the website for details!), an update on activities in the chamber music department at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, an introduction to the highly successful new Lied-Academy of Finland, the announcement of an upcoming competition for duos with piano in Warsaw, an exciting account of the Grand Parade of Musicians organized by the Lithuanian Musicians' Union, a report on the life and music of Dinos Constantinides, and a fascinating résumé of recent research on potential theoretical references useful for the analysis of communication and interaction between musicians in the rehearsal of contemporary aleatoric and improvised music. A final presentation was added on Sunday, which included an impassioned demonstration of strategies we can all employ to encourage non-musical audiences to understand the relevance of classical music to contemporary life.

In summary, we can say that content, variety, timing, preparation, presentation, participation and support all worked together in harmony! Many thanks to our devoted colleagues at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre for the absolutely perfect realization of the Gathering and for your exceptionally warm and relaxed hospitality.

Evan Rothstein


Program and info

Poster for the Tallinn Autumn Gathering 9-11 Dec 2016


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Tallinn Inscription Form (the registration is ended)

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How to join ECMTA

Join us as an individual member, institutional member, ensemble member or contributing member! ECMTA is completely member-driven association and it's aim is networking and exchange of knowledge and experience. It connects chamber music teachers across Europe who share love and passion for chamber music and ensemble playing in general. If you look at the "ensemble" of board members you'll see that there are several countries represented -these are the most active in ECMTA: Finland, Ireland/Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, etc., of course there are more... Traditionally, there are two meetings in a year (in different countries) that contain masterclasses, concerts, members forum, General Assemblies, we invite guests as Keynote speakers, ensembles-in-residence who give concerts and workshops and traditionally we enjoy the cultural clustre of the host country of our meetings.Last meeting in Poland (My 2016) contained detailed insights into Polish yet undiscovered but valuable music, several presentations from Polish youth music training organizers, a presentation of Chopin Institute project "Chopin on historical pianos" and, of course guided tour to Chopin Museum in Warsaw.
And, of course, everyone is invited to join our concerts as listeners where students across Europe, usually students of our members-professors, are performing.
You are welcome to join our Facebook group "ECMTA members and friends"!

For new members

  • Return the membership form completed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Pay the membership fee after receiving an invoice for payment. Bank: Nordea Bank AB Estonia EE621700017004017862

The invoices will be sent by the accounting service Leinonen Group/ Leinonen Estonia. NB! Please send all requests and questions regarding the invoices to the secretary of ECMTA:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Annual fees:

  • Individual Member: 70 euros
  • Chamber Ensemble (2-5 members): 110 euros
  • Institutional Member: 140 euros
  • Contributing member (non-teacher, non-musician, individual or institution): 70 euros minimum

An Individual Member receives one vote in the General Assembly, a Chamber Ensemble 2 votes, and an Institutional Member 3 votes. A Contributing Member may participate in all activities, but may not vote in the General Assembly. A Chamber Ensemble must have a legal administrative identity and confirmed pedagogical activity.


Chairman’s message

Dear ECMTA family!

I’m very grateful to all of you for your remarkable contribution to the very inspiring and constructive meeting in Warsaw!

My special thanks go to Katarzyna Jankowska-Borzykowska and Maia Nosowska!
I would sincerely like to thank Evan Rothstein and Keijo Aho for the incredible work that has been done in the development of the organisation.

Let us together create ECMTA as a flexible and dynamic platform of chamber music!
This work can be done together.

In gratitude,
Marje Lohuaru

Statement on the UKs EU Referendum by EMC Chairman Ian Smith

Dear members and friends, here you can read the statement on the UKs EU Referendum by EMC Chairman Ian Smith:

* * * * *

Dear members and friends of the European Music Council,

I write as Chair/President of the European Music Council to express my deep regret and sorrow that at yesterday's referendum, the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. The EMC remains at the core of my being and my responsibilities as Chair are if anything strengthened by this regrettable vote. I am happy to report that Scotland voted by a clear majority of 62% to remain as part of the EU and that could, of course lead, not only to the break up of Europe, which we all fear, but the break up of the UK too.

The majority vote has come almost entirely from an English-based populace who fear continuing immigration and want to retain control of the UK which is, in my view a misplaced priority and fails to grasp that we are stronger together. From a cultural and artistic perspective this is certainly the case and is why the European Music Council is strong and that strength comes from our members and our shared priorities and vision for music as a universal language that knows no barriers wherever it is practiced across all genres, all abilities and for the benefit of all peoples.

We will remain strong and focussed on our European and global agenda and I hope it is clear that what has just happened in the UK must make us all vigilant and ensure that we unite through the common language of music that is and remains our passion. 

Ian Smith, Chair of the EMC